Dreams of White Tiles . . .


Hostage Negotiation with Chinese Characteristics

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 8:46 pm

When I studied at university I read a bit about theories of hostage negotiation (I read quite a lot of other stuff that wasn’t actually on the reading lists, and none of that turned up in exams either), and I found this article on Chinese first batch of trained hostage negotiators and the man doing the training interesting.

The difference between ‘Chinese style negotiations’ (中国式谈判) seems to stem from the nature of ‘Chinese style hostage situations’ (中国式人质事件) . Knives are the weapons of choice, and this allows ‘close-up negotiation’ (近距离谈判) – according to the article, an American negotiator will be 2km away from the hardened hostage-taker and his AK47, while his Chinese counterpart will be only a few meters away from the young, uneducated guy from the countryside who’s fallen on hard times in the big city and his blade. This leads to a greater focus on body language and facial expression rather than purely verbal communication.

The article’s advice for the hostage is worth noting – keep your mouth shut. It’s always the mouthy folks that get done away with first (话语多者往往最先被杀死).


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