Chinese arms exports to Iran

Bates Gill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In order to assess the current and likely future scope and nature of Sino-Iran arms trade, and how it affects these larger international and regional security concerns, several important questions should be addressed. 1. What are the broader strategic, political, and economic motivations which drive Chinese arms trade with Iran? Have these factors changed over time in a way conducive to diminished Sino-Iranian arms trade in the future? 2. What has been the extent and nature of Chinese arms trade with Iran? Has China taken meaningful steps to curtail its arms trade with Iran? 3. Has the nature of this trade changed significantly over time? In what ways has this trade changed to make it more or less problematic for international and regional security concerns? In the following, these and related questions will be addressed by reviewing the background and strategic rationale for Chinese arms exports to Iran, detailing the extent and nature of that trade, and assessing the encouraging developments and continuing concerns related to the Sino-Iranian arms trade relationship. While China has taken a number of positive steps in recent years to curtail its export of sensitive weapons and technologies to Iran, more needs to be done to reduce continued exports to Iran and ensure that China can fulfil the non-proliferation goals it has set for itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-379
Number of pages25
JournalChina Report
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


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