Overseas Chinese Affairs Office

The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO) is an administrative office previously under the State Council of the People's Republic of China responsible for liaising with overseas Chinese residing abroad or returning to China.[1][2] In 2018, OCAO and its functions were absorbed into the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).[3]

Overseas Chinese Affairs Office
Agency overview
Preceding agency
  • Committee of Overseas Chinese Affairs
Agency executive
Parent departmentUnited Front Work Department
Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

OCAO's forerunner, the Committee of Overseas Chinese Affairs, was established in 1949; He Xiangning, the wife of Liao Zhongkai, served as its first head from October 1949 to April 1959, after which her son Liao Chengzhi took over the position of head until the abolishment of the office in June 1970. Upon the establishment of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office in 1978, Liao Chengzhi also became its first head. Liao Chengzhi's son Liao Hui also joined the office as vice-director in 1983, and was promoted to director in May 1984.[4]

OCAO previously ran China News Service.[3] OCAO has also focused on technology transfer through agreements with professional associations in science and technology fields such as the Silicon Valley Chinese Overseas Business Association (SCOBA).[5][6] OCAO also oversaw the Chinese Overseas Exchange Association (COEA), which sponsored annual "Discovery Trips to China for Eminent Young Overseas Chinese".[5][7]

In October 2016, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection reported deficiencies in the CCP's control over OCAO.[3][8] In March 2018, it was announced that the OCAO and its functions would be merged into various internal bureaus of the United Front Work Department as well as the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese.[3] In a 2022 ruling, a Canadian court stated that OCAO "engages in covert and surreptitious intelligence gathering”.[9]


Pan Yue is the current director of OCAO, a position previously held by Xu Yousheng.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ To, James Jiann Hua (2014-05-15). Qiaowu: Extra-Territorial Policies for the Overseas Chinese. BRILL. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-90-04-27228-6. Archived from the original on 2020-07-29. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  2. ^ "Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council". GOV.cn, Chinese Government's Official Web Portal. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  3. ^ a b c d Joske, Alex (May 9, 2019). "Reorganizing the United Front Work Department: New Structures for a New Era of Diaspora and Religious Affairs Work". Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019-07-27.
  4. ^ Bo, Zhiyue (2007). China's Elite Politics: Political Transition and Power Balancing. World Scientific Publishing. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-981-270-041-4. OCLC 608890457.
  5. ^ a b Hannas, William C.; Mulvenon, James; Puglisi, Anna B. (2013-06-14). Chinese Industrial Espionage: Technology Acquisition and Military Modernisation. Routledge. pp. 80–100. ISBN 978-1-135-95261-7.
  6. ^ Fedasiuk, Ryan; Weinstein, Emily (July 21, 2020). "Overseas Professionals and Technology Transfer to China" (PDF). Center for Security and Emerging Technology. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  7. ^ Worthington, Brett (10 September 2019). "Gladys Liu admits to membership of Guangdong Overseas Exchange Association". ABC News. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  8. ^ "中央第八巡视组向国务院侨务办公室党组反馈专项巡视情况". Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (in Chinese). 14 October 2016. Archived from the original on 22 April 2019. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  9. ^ Young, Ian (24 February 2022). "Overseas Chinese Affairs Office harms Canada with espionage, court rules". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Environmental czar to lead Overseas Chinese Affairs Office as director". Apple Daily. October 22, 2020. Archived from the original on March 4, 2021. Retrieved November 8, 2020.

External linksEdit