Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Gūanx (关系 or 關係), literally translated as "relationship", has been a central concept in Chinese society and describes a personal connection between two people in which one is able to prevail upon another to perform a favor or service. The two people need not be of equal social status.

It has been extensively studied and described in studies of Chinese economic and political behavior, and sociologists have linked it with the concept of social capital. When a guanxi network violates bureaucratic norms, it can lead to corruption. Guanxi can also form the basis of patron-client relations.

A closely related concept is that of ganqing or feeling which reflects the depth of feeling within an interpersonal relationship.

See also: Chinese social relations