Integrating a rising power into global nonproliferation regimes : US-China negotiations and interactions on nonproliferation, 1980-2001
Chinese policies and behaviour regarding the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have changed gradually over the last two decades. Since the early 1980s, China has limited its exports of sensitive nuclear and missile items and expanded its nonproliferation commitments. Although China continues to provide some missile assistance to Pakistan, Iran and other countries, from a nonproliferation perspective China's policies - on balance - have improved. The dissertation argues that US policy, in the form of economic and political incentives and disincentives, played a significant and enduring role in shaping these changes. US diplomacy sensitized China to international and US nonproliferation concerns; encouraged China to accept nonproliferation principles and join international accords; coerced China into strict compliance with some of its commitments; catalyzed institutionalization of such pledges; and helped foster the development of a Chinese community of arms control and nonproliferation specialists. These changes in China's nonproliferation behaviour were also influenced by three internal factors: the degree of China's acceptance of specific nonproliferation norms; China's institutional/bureaucratic capacity to understand and implement its nonproliferation commitments; and Chinese foreign policy priorities. These three variables enabled and constrained US efforts to shape China's nonproliferation policies. US policy was most successful in encouraging changes in China's approach to nuclear nonproliferation but were far more limited in shaping its missile nonproliferation behaviour. The dissertation further maintains that persistent and high-level US diplomacy resulted in the widely held Chinese perception that some of its nonproliferation pledges are political commitments and that adherence to them is linked to the overall US-China political relationship. As a result, US policies which China perceives as undermining its core security interests, such as missile defence, have pushed China away from supporting nonproliferation and arms control principles and agreements. This dissertation presents four case-studies. The first one covers US-China negotiations on nuclear nonproliferation, the second covers bilateral interactions on missile nonproliferation, the third addresses bilateral debates on missile defences, and the fourth case study examines the evolution of China's community of nonproliferation and arms control specialists.