1st Edition

The United States’ Subnational Relations with Divided China A Constructivist Approach to Paradiplomacy

By Czeslaw Tubilewicz, Natalie Omond Copyright 2021
    272 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines US subnational engagement in foreign relations, or paradiplomacy, with China and Taiwan from 1949 to 2020. As an alternative diplomatic history of the United States’ relations with divided China, it offers an in-depth chronological and thematic discussion of state and local communities’ responses to the China-Taiwan sovereignty conflict and their impact on US diplomacy.

    The book explains why paradiplomacy matters not only in the ‘low politics’ of economic and cultural cooperation, but also in the ‘high politics’ of diplomatic recognition. Presenting case studies of US states and cities developing policies towards divided China that paralleled, clashed or aligned with those pursued by federal agencies, it also identifies Chinese and Taiwanese objectives and strategies deployed when competing for US subnational ties. Conceptually, the book builds upon Constructivism, redefining paradiplomacy as an institutional fact, reflective of subnational identities and interests, rather than as a subnational pursuit of foreign markets, driven by objective economic forces.

    Featuring new empirical evidence and a novel conceptual framework for paradiplomacy, The United States’ Subnational Relations with Divided China will be a useful resource for students and scholars of US foreign policy, the politics of China and Taiwan, paradiplomacy and international relations.

    Chapter 1 Introduction to the United States’ paradiplomacy

    Chapter 2 Constructivist framework for paradiplomacy

    Chapter 3 Early subnational relations, 1949-1978

    Chapter 4 US cities’ China strategies

    Chapter 5 US states’ responses to the derecognition of the ROC

    Chapter 6 Sister-state relations with Taiwan Province

    Chapter 7 US state offices in Taiwan

    Chapter 8 Diplomacy vs paradiplomacy

    Chapter 9 US cities and democratizing Taiwan

    Chapter 10 China’s rise and US-Taiwan subnational relations

    Chapter 11 Conclusion: Paradiplomacy and its discontents


    Czeslaw Tubilewicz is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide. He has authored Taiwan and Post-communist Europe (2007) and Chinese Constructions of Sovereignty and the East China Sea Conflict (2020), and edited Critical Issues in Contemporary China (2006, 2017).

    Natalie Omond is an independent researcher in Chinese Studies.