Foreign and domestic influences on China's arms control and nonproliferation policies

Bates Gill, Evan S. Medeiros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Over the course of the 1990s, China's arms control and nonproliferation policies have undergone a remarkable evolution. Since 1992, China has signed three major, international arms control treaties – the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty – which it had previously lambasted for years. In addition, Beijing has continued to improve on and clarify many of its previous nonproliferation commitments as well as to adopt a legally based export control system covering a variety of sensitive materials, equipment and technologies. These developments are mirrored by the expanding roles and growing influence of a number of new bureaucratic actors in China devoted to examining its participation in the international arms control and nonproliferation regime. Most notably, in 1997 China's Foreign Ministry established a department exclusively devoted to arms control and disarmament issues. Yet despite these broad trends, little is known about the actors and influences (external and internal) affecting Beijing's arms control and nonproliferation decision-making. Chinese writings on arms control, while growing in number, tend to be descriptive rather than analytical and usually provide little insight into China's policy-making on arms control and nonproliferation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-93
Number of pages27
JournalChina Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


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