International Department of the Chinese Communist Party
AbbreviationZhonglianbu (中联部)
Formation1951; 73 years ago (1951)
TypeDepartment directly reporting to the Central Committee
Ministerial level agency
Headquarters4 Fuxing Road, Haidian District, Beijing
LeaderLiu Jianchao
Deputy ministers
Chen Zhou, Li Mingxiang, Sun Haiyan, Lu Kang
Parent organization
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party
SubsidiariesChinese Association for International Understanding
China Center for Contemporary World Studies
China Foundation for Peace and Development
AffiliationsMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Edit this at Wikidata
Formerly called
International Liaison Department

The International Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (ID; Chinese: 中国共产党中央委员会对外联络部; pinyin: Zhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng Zhōngyāng Wěiyuánhuì Duìwài Liánluò Bù), also known as the International Liaison Department (ILD), is an agency under the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in charge of establishing and maintaining relations with foreign political parties and other foreign organizations.



The department was established in 1951, and was tasked with overseeing relations with foreign communist parties, especially the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the socialist bloc.[1] The ILD's mandate became more important following the Sino-Soviet split, as the party began more aggressively seeking supporters for its position among communist parties operating overseas.[2] Afterwards it maintained ties between the CCP and the Maoist parties around the world, often attempting to foment revolution abroad by funneling money and resources to left-wing and rebel groups.[3][4][5]

In the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping, the ILD expanded its mission to include cultivating relations with non-communist parties, and shed its overtly revolutionary objectives.[6] In 1981, the ILD established the Chinese Association for International Understanding.[7][8] The ILD also operates the China Foundation for Peace and Development.[9] In this era, the department sought to forge ties with "any foreign political party that was willing to meet with it."[4]

With the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union, the ILD's expanded mission of engaging with parties across the political spectrum became more important.[2] Since the early 2000s, the ILD has increased its global outreach.[10] According to scholar Anne-Marie Brady, the ILD is "tasked with gathering intelligence on foreign politicians and political parties, and developing asset relations with them."[11]

In 2010, the ILD established the China Center for Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS), a think tank serving on the secretariat of the Silk Road Think Tank Association, which aims to "enhance positive feelings" toward the Belt and Road Initiative.[12]

The ILD has grown in importance under the Xi Jinping Administration as an instrument of the foreign policy of China.[13] To advance Chinese-African party-to-party relations, the ILD and Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party finance the Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania.[14][15]: 100–101  The school opened in February 2022 with US$40 million in funding and is a physical venue for political and diplomatic exchanges between the CCP and African ruling parties, particularly from Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.[16][17][15]: 101–102 



The department is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s primary body tasked with conducting diplomacy through party-to-party channels.[15]: 88  It plays a critical role in China's relations with other socialist one-party states, including North Korea and Vietnam.[18][19] The ILD gathers intelligence on and influences foreign political parties, organizations, think tanks, and academics as well being tasked with finding ways to divide potential critics.[20][21][22][10][11] As of 2019, it maintains relations with more than 600 political parties and organizations from over 160 countries.[15]: 89 



The department has 14 offices, 8 of which are regional bureaus.[15]: 89 

Directors of the ILD:

See also



  1. ^ Jüris, Frank (2020-09-25). "Estonian parties in the CCP's grip: The International Liaison Department's influence activities". Sinopsis. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  2. ^ a b Sutter, Robert (2011). Historical Dictionary of Chinese Foreign Policy. Plymouth, United Kingdom: Rowman and Littlefield. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-8108-6860-1. OCLC 971172812. Archived from the original on 2020-08-23. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  3. ^ Lovell, Julia (2019-09-03). Maoism: A Global History. Doubleday. pp. 13. ISBN 978-0-525-65605-0. The two most important organisations handling the export of Chinese revolutionary theory and practice were the International Liaison Department and military intelligence.
  4. ^ a b Brady, Anne-Marie (2003). Making the foreign serve China: managing foreigners in the People's Republic. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. doi:10.25911/5d5fccdac8aba. hdl:1885/147629. ISBN 0742518612. OCLC 52595251.
  5. ^ Directorate of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency (December 1971). "Intelligence Report: The International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  6. ^ Shambaugh, David (March 2007). "China's "Quiet Diplomacy": The International Department of the Chinese Communist Party". China: An International Journal. 05 (1): 26–54. doi:10.1142/S0219747207000039. ISSN 0219-7472.
  7. ^ Sutter, Robert G. (2011-05-05). Historical Dictionary of Chinese Foreign Policy. Scarecrow Press. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0-8108-7084-0. OCLC 780605591. Archived from the original on 2020-08-23. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  8. ^ Stokes, Mark; Hsiao, Russell (October 14, 2013). "The People's Liberation Army General Political Department: Political Warfare with Chinese Characteristics" (PDF). Project 2049 Institute. pp. 38, 78. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 14, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  9. ^ Bandurski, David (2023-04-09). "Mixing Media and Statecraft in Latin America". China Media Project. Retrieved 2023-05-24.
  10. ^ a b Hackenesch, Christine; Bader, Julia (2020-06-09). "The Struggle for Minds and Influence: The Chinese Communist Party's Global Outreach". International Studies Quarterly. 64 (3): 723–733. doi:10.1093/isq/sqaa028. hdl:11245.1/7324dee8-d4d7-4163-86c5-f0e467a5b65a. ISSN 0020-8833.
  11. ^ a b Hartcher, Peter (2020-07-13). "Rundown of China's spy agencies will make uncomfortable reading for some". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2020-08-25. Retrieved 2020-08-20.
  12. ^ Bigey, René (2023-05-11). "France's "influence diplomacy" under CCP influence" (PDF). Sinopsis. Retrieved 2023-05-22.
  13. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (January 30, 2024). "The rise of China's shadow diplomacy". Axios. Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  14. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (August 20, 2023). "In Tanzania, Beijing is running a training school for authoritarianism". Axios. Retrieved August 20, 2023.
  15. ^ a b c d e Shinn, David H.; Eisenman, Joshua (2023). China's Relations with Africa: a New Era of Strategic Engagement. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-21001-0.
  16. ^ Nyabiage, Jevans (2022-02-26). "China opens party school in Africa to teach its model to continent's officials". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2023-08-20.
  17. ^ Chan, Raphael (August 29, 2022). "Political Training Under the Belt and Road Initiative: A Look at the Chinese Communist Party's First Party School in Africa". Foreign Policy Research Institute. Retrieved 2023-08-20.
  18. ^ Cai, Jane (2023-10-20). "Chinese Communist Party's diplomatic arm in 'candid and constructive' meeting with US think tank Asia Society". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2023. Retrieved 2023-10-21.
  19. ^ Shi, Jiangtao (1 January 2024). "Communist Party diplomat Liu Jianchao steps up role in China's foreign policy drive". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  20. ^ Lulu, Jichang (2019-11-26). "Repurposing democracy: The European Parliament China Friendship Cluster". Sinopsis. pp. 27–29. Archived from the original on 2019-12-10. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  21. ^ Thomas, Neil (January 22, 2020). "Proselytizing Power: The Party Wants the World to Learn from Its Experiences". Macro Polo. Archived from the original on January 23, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  22. ^ Fitzgerald, John (2019). Mind your tongue: Language, public diplomacy and community cohesion in contemporary Australia—China relations (Report). Australian Strategic Policy Institute. JSTOR resrep23070.