China, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation

China, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation

China, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation

China, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation

Synopsis

Documenting China's participation in international arms control and non-proliferation regimes from 1985-2001, this book focuses on the distinction between US expectations of Chinese compliance, which China has not always met, and international standards, against which Chinese performance is acceptable.

Excerpt

Even the most cynical observers of world affairs agree that there are ways to resolve conflicts other than by military force. Even the most realpolitik, hard-nosed foreign policy scholars agree that negotiated arms reductions can, under the right circumstances, play a useful role in reducing tensions. No doubt history offers many reasons to be pessimistic about the future success of such efforts. Moreover, international arms control and nonproliferation regimes have suffered some serious blows in the past decade: the threat posed to the validity of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) by North Korea, India, and Pakistan; the removal of the director general of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons; the dissolution of the Biological Weapons Convention verification talks; the refusal of the U.S. Senate to consider ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty. Nevertheless, most of the regimes persist. They have not been decimated, or dismantled, or abandoned. Their number and the degree to which they have taken on a life of their own suggest that they will be part of international politics for some time to come.

China remained at the margin or outside of global arms control efforts for the 50 years following World War II. In the 1980s, facing an international environment dramatically different from that of the previous few decades, the Chinese leadership began to reevaluate this hands-off approach. The ten years between 1989 and 1999 saw a rapid-unprecedented-increase in Chinese participation in arms control and nonproliferation regimes. The change came about at a time of many other remarkable developments in China: an economic boom of historic proportions; rapid scientific advances, albeit in only a few niche fields; fundamental shifts in the locus of economic decision-making power; vast increases in imports, exports, and foreign investment; a huge jump in personal income for two-thirds of the population, and a reduction of the role of the Communist Party that gave individuals not the kind of freedoms thought of as democracy in the West, but at least the confidence that they could make personal, financial, and professional choices without coercion by the state. . .

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