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 2|21 pages

Constructivist framework for paradiplomacy

chapter 3|25 pages

Early subnational relations, 1949–1978

chapter 4|16 pages

US cities’ China strategies

chapter 7|23 pages

US state offices in Taiwan

chapter 8|26 pages

Diplomacy vs paradiplomacy

chapter 9|17 pages

US cities and democratizing Taiwan

chapter 11|14 pages


Paradiplomacy and its discontents