The structural influence of the military in China's foreign policy‐making

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Foreign policy-making is a process in which decision-makers determine, by assessing both domestic and international variables, what their nation should do at present and where it will stand in the future. The military elites of various countries all have some inclination to exert military influence over the implementation of the foreign policies of their respective governments.1 The common rationale seems to be that, although politics may be beyond the scope of military competence, a professional military needs to promote a political line, owing to its role in the formation and implementation of national security policy (Perlmutter 1977, 8). To this end, the military often resorts to two common forms of influence,one direct and the other indirect. Direct influence comes from formal and explicit recommendations or control over operations, while indirect influence is often felt when the military controls civilian decisions through a monopoly of information or control of options (Betts 1977, 5). In other words, through either direct or indirect influence, or both, the military, both as an interest group and as a symbol of national interest, seeks to make decision-makers do what they would otherwise probably not do.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)71-98
Number of pages28
JournalAsian Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • military
  • foreign policy-making
  • Korean War
  • politics


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