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Title: China, WMD Proliferation, and the“China Threat” Debate
Authors: Medeiros, Evan S.
Keywords: China;proliferation;weapons sales;U.S.China relations;“China threat”
Date: 2000-01
Issue Date: 2016-10-05 11:21:18 (UTC+8)
Abstract: This article argues that Chinese WMD proliferation activities have played a unique and modest but also enduring role in the “China threat” debate in the United States. Chinese arms sales have raised two types of concerns for the United States, both of which have shifted over time. First, the initial U.S. concerns in the late 1980s and early 1990s were narrowly based on direct threats to material U.S. national security interests stemming from Chinese WMD-related exports to countries in the Middle East. In this sense, the intellectual origins of the “China threat” debate lie in Chinese proliferation activities. From the early 1990s onward, however the locus of U.S. concerns about Chinese weapons exports shifted to the broader political issue of China’s intentions as an international actor. Many began to see Chinese proliferation behavior as an indicator of whether China would accept or reject the norms and rules of the international system, whether China plans to challenge U.S. influence in particular regions, and whether China can be trusted to adhere to its commitments. Furthermore, this article maintains that the U.S. discourse about Chinese proliferation has become detached from the narrowing scope of Chinese proliferation activities and Beijing’s limited acceptance of the international nonproliferation regime. In the last five years China’s proliferation activities have declined significantly and to a limited extent have dovetailed with U.S. nonproliferation goals; little of this progress, how-ever, has been reflected in the current debates about the “China threat.”
Relation: Issues & Studies,36(1),19-48
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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