chapter  1
15 Pages

China and international nuclear weapons proliferation

WithHenrik Stålhane Hiim

China is a major source of nuclear technology, and a crucial supplier of ballistic missiles, which is most states' preferred means of delivery for nuclear weapons. China's approach to nuclear proliferation has been and remains controversial. Most importantly, both skeptical and sanguine observers tend to overlook that China's track record has been mixed, with the forms and intensity of its support to proliferators varying substantially. Despite the significant contributions of the supply-side literature, there is therefore a need for a study which may bridge supply-side theory and a case-by-case examination of China's approach to nuclear proliferation. Nuclear nonproliferation and China's support for states with a possible interest in weapons development is also discussed widely in the literature on Chinese foreign policy. For any study on sensitive topics like nuclear proliferation, access to sources represents a challenge. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.