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Yafeng Xia

Professor of History

B.A., Nanjing Normal UniversityM.A., Nanjing Normal UniversityPh.D., University of Maryland, College Park


Yafeng Xia received a doctoral degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2003. He is a professor of East Asian and diplomatic history.

Dr. Xia is the author of “Negotiating with the Enemy: U.S.-China Talks during the Cold War, 1949-72” (2006). The book explores how the United States and China could move from the dangerous years of confrontation and hostilities to the period of rapprochement from 1949 to 1972. Dr. Xia’s main argument is that, behind the veil of intense hostility and confrontation, the chance for eventual reconciliation existed. Since the publication of the book in September 2006, it has received great scholarly attention in the field of Cold War studies and China study. Scholars generally praise the book for adding “considerably to our understanding of Chinese negotiating style and aims from 1949 to 1972” and for the “extensive use of Chinese materials that are not ordinarily accessible to historians of American diplomacy without Chinese language skills.” On September 24, 2009, on the third anniversary of the publication of the book, he was invited to deliver a public talk on the book at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

He also has published widely on the history of Chinese foreign policy, Sino-American relations, Sino-Soviet relations and Cold War history in leading journals of his field, such as Diplomacy & Statecraft, The Journal of Cold War Studies, The International History Review, The Chinese Historical Review, Diplomatic History, the American Journal of Chinese Studies and Cold War History, among others. He is presently working on a monograph on the history of the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, tentatively titled “Burying the ‘Diplomacy of Humiliation’: New China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1949-1956.”


Co-author, Mao and the Demise of the Sino-Soviet Alliance: The Chinese Perspective, 1959-1973 (Harvard Cold War Studies book series) (2015)
Co-author, Mao and the Rise of the Sino-Soviet Alliance: The Chinese Perspective, 1945-1959 (Harvard Cold War Studies book series) (2015)
Co-author, “1972 Beijing: Mao and Nixon Summit,” in David Reynolds and Kristina Spohr eds., Cold War Summitry: Transcending the Division of Europe, 1970-90 (2015)
Co-author, “Refuting Two Historical Myths: A New Interpretation of Sino-North Korean Relations,” in Carla Freeman ed., Chinese Perspectives on North Korea (2015)
Co-author, A Political Duet: The Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, the CCP's Eighth Congress and the Sino-Soviet Relations, published in Modern China Studies (2015)
Co-author, “New Trends in the Study of Cold War History in China, 2000-2014,” published in World History Quarterly (2015)
Co-author, “China’s Last Ally: Beijing’s Policy toward North Korea during U.S.-China Rapprochement, 1970-1975,” Diplomatic History, vol. 38, no. 5 (2014)
Co-author, “Chinese Policies toward Korean Cross-Border Migration and Chinese-North Korean Relations, 1950-1962,” published in Journal of Cold War Studies (2014)
Co-author, Jockeying for Leadership: Mao and the Sino-Soviet Split, October 1961-July 1964, published in Journal of Cold War Studies (2014)
Author, “Zhou Enlai and the Sino-American Rapprochement, 1969-1972,” in Artemy Kalinovsky and Craig Daigle eds., The Routledge Handbook of the Cold War (2014)
Co-author, A Contested Border: A Historical Investigation into the Sino-Korean Border Issue, 1950-1964, published in Asian Perspective (2013)
Author, People's Republic of China, in "The Ashgate Research Companion to the Korean War" (2014)
Author, The Rise of China in the Twenty-First Century, in "Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: A Diplomatic History" (2012)
Co-author, ZhongMei 8.17 gongba huigu yu zhanwang (The August 17, 1982 U.S.-China Joint Communiqué:  30th Anniversary Retrospective and Prospects Reevaluating the Taiwan Factor in U.S.-China Relations), published in "Lengzhan guojishi yanjiu" (Cold War International History Studies) (2012)
Co-author, Recent Trends in the Study of Cold War History in China, in ECNU-Wilson Center Cold War Studies Initiative, published inOccasional Paper # 1
Co-author, China and the Post-War Reconstruction of North Korea, 1953-1961, in North Korea International Documentation Project, published in Working Paper # 4
Co-author, Between Aid and Restriction: Changing Soviet Policies toward China's Nuclear Weapons Program: 1954-1960, NPIHP, published in Working Paper # 2
Co-author, Between Aid and Restriction: The Soviet Union's Changing Policies on China's Nuclear Weapons Program, 1954-1960, published in Asian Perspective
Author, Jin shinian lai Mei Ying liangguo xueshujie dui lengzhanshi yanjiu shuping, in "Shixue jikan" (Collected Papers of History Studies)
Co-author, Mao Zedong's Erroneous Decision during the Korean War – China's Rejection of the UN Cease-fire Resolution in Early 1951, published in Asian Perspective
Co-author, 'Whirlwind' of China: Zhou Enlai's Shuttle Diplomacy in 1957 and Its Effect, published in Cold War History
Co-author, The Great Leap Forward, the People's Communes and the Sino-Soviet Split, published in Journal of Contemporary China
Co-author, Vacillating between Revolution and Détente: Mao's Changing Psyche and Policy toward the U.S., 1969-1976, published in Diplomatic History
Author, Mao Zedong, in "Mental Maps in the Cold War Era, 1945-68"
Author, "Negotiating with the Enemy: U.S.-China Talks during the Cold War, 1949-1972"
Author, Wang Jiaxiang: New China's First Ambassador and the CCP's First Director of International Liaison Department, published in American Journal of Chinese Studies
Author, New Evidence for China's Role in the Hungarian Crisis of October 1956: A Note, published in The International History Review
Author, Shilun Nikesong zhengfu duiwai zhengce juece de jizhi, guocheng yu zhuyao renyuan (On the Structures, Processes and Personalities in the Nixon Administration's Foreign Policy Decision-making), in "Shixue jikan (Collected Papers of History Studies)
Author, Nikesong zhuyi' yu Meiguo duiwai zhengce de tiaozheng (The Nixon Doctrine and U.S. Foreign Policy Change), Zhonggong dangshi yanjiu, published in CCP History Studies
Co-author, Hidden Currents during the Honeymoon -- Mao Zedong, Khrushchev and the 1957 Moscow Conference, published in Journal of Cold War Studies
Co-author, Competing for Leadership: Split or Détente in the Sino-Soviet Bloc, published in The International History Review
Author, Myth or Reality: Factional Politics, U.S.-China Relations, and Mao Zedong's Psychology in His Sunset Years, 1972-1976, published in The Journal of American-East Asian Relations
Author, The Study of Cold War International History in China—A Review of the Last Twenty Years, published in Journal of Cold War Studies
Author, Chongping liushi niandai Zhong Mei dashiji huitan (A Reappraisal of Sino-American Ambassadorial Talks in the 1960s), published in Lengzhan Guojishi Yanjiu (Cold War International History Studies)
Author, New Scholarship and Directions in the Study of the Diplomatic History of the People's Republic of China, published in The Chinese Historical Review
Author, China's Elite Politics and Sino-American Rapprochement, January 1969-February 1972, published in Journal of Cold War Studies
Author, Negotiating at Cross-Purposes: Sino-American Ambassadorial Talks, 1961-1968, published in Diplomacy and Statecraft
Author, Vietnam for Taiwan? – A Reappraisal of Nixon-Zhou Enlai Negotiation on Shanghai Communiqué, published in American Review of China Studies
Author, The Taiwan Issue in Sino-American Rapprochement Negotiations, in "Taiwan in the 21st Century"


Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (September 2011-June 2012)
Recipient, The Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Scholarly Achievement, Long Island University's Highest Academic Award of LIU (2010)
Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (June-August, 2010)
Recipient, Faculty Research Grant, Long Island University (2006)
Recipient, Lee Hysan Visiting Scholar Grant (2006)
Recipient, IGCA Best Dissertation Award, Institute for Global Chinese Affairs, University of Maryland (2004)
Recipient, Richard Farrell Prize for Best Dissertation in the History Department, University of Maryland (2003/2004)


  • Member, American Historical Association (2000-present)
  • Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (2001-present)
  • Member, Phi Alpha Theta (2002-present)
  • Member and Board of Directors, Chinese Historians in the United States (2001-present)