Going Straight, But Somewhat Late: China and Nuclear Nonproliferation
ASIA-PACIFIC CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES HONOLULU HI
Pagination or Media Count:
Beginning in the 198Os, Beijing earned a reputation for violating its commitments to uphold international nonproliferation norms despite Beijings own oft- stated position that China does not advocate, encourage or engage in proliferation of nuclear weapons nor assist other countries in developing nuclear weapons. Analysts widely agree that China has demonstrated a more robust commitment to nonproliferation in recent years, including strengthening export control procedures and participating in international nonproliferation regimes. Nevertheless, the problem of Chinese nuclear proliferation persists. The focus of attention has shifted from transfers directed by officials as an instrument of government policy to sales by Chinese firms that occur because of gaps in the Chinese domestic enforcement network. Although many Americans see China as primarily part of the problem of nonproliferation rather than part of the solution, the Chinese believe their recent efforts qualify them to be considered partners rather than outlaws. This perceptual disjuncture is a point of friction in the U.S.-China relationship. China opposes the deployment of nuclear weapons by North Korea, but stability on the Korean Peninsula is a higher priority goal for the Chinese than denuclearization. Beijing has therefore been unwilling to exert stronger pressure, such as economic sanctions, that might result in a collapse of the Pyongyang regime. Chinas continued economic and administrative development, growing stake in international stability, and desire for a positive global reputation should help sustain the present trend of greater Chinese compliance with nonproliferation norms.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Warfare