Government China Specialists: Scholar Officials and Official Scholars
Washington, D.C., is home to the largest and most diverse assemblage of China analysts in the United States, and several agencies of the U.S. government have far more specialists on China than does any university.' Indeed, precisely because the government's China studies community is so large, diverse, and distributed among so many agencies with such different missions, any effort to describe in general terms the approach, ambience, and assessments of "government" China specialists is certain to be oversimplified and somewhat misleading. Thus, for example, the mission, methodologies, and analytical products of the Bureau of the Census and the Congressional Research Service are very different from those of the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Defense. Partly as a function of where they work, some analysts publish extensively and interact regularly with the academic community; others seldom do either. Some agencies and individual analysts are interested primarily in "understanding China"; others seek only to locate and fit together tiny pieces of a narrowly defined analytical puzzle.