There are three broad factors that help explain China’s policy towards Iran’s nuclear program, especially since escalation to a full-fledged proliferation concern since the 2000s. First, there are a set of strategic dynamics and characteristics that define and shape the environment within which policy towards Iran has been formulated by Beijing since the inception of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. These dynamics could be analyzed as Iran’s strategic signification. Secondly, one could point at China’s global and regional preferences and policies and their implications for the prc’s Iran policy. Finally, the previous two sets of dynamics and preferences need to be contextualized within China’s nuclear proliferation culture and its impact in informing Beijing’s policies toward Iran’s nuclear crisis. Placing them in a historical geostrategic background context, the present paper will unpack these factors.
cia China Desk 1992 Secret Memorandum for the Record. Beijing’s Middle East Proliferation Activities. January 31 1992. Available from <http://www.foia.cia.gov/docs/DOC_0001247931/DOC_0001247931.pdf >. [17April 2011].
Director of Central Intelligence (dci) 1999 ‘Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions.’ Available from <http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/reports/2000/cia_wmd-report_jan_jun1999.htm>. [12 May 2015).
Director of Central Intelligence (dci) 2000. ‘Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 July Through 31 December 2000.’ Available from <https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/archived-reports-1/july_dec2000.htm>. [12 May 2015].
iaea2005 ‘Board of Governors Report Implementation of the npt Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran Resolution September 24 2005.’ Available from <www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2005/gov2005-77.pdf>. [August 14 2011].
isis NuclearIran Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center/Research Reactors. Available from <http://www.isisnucleariran.org/sites/detail/esfahan-area-research-reactors/>. [30 March 2015].
LeckyJFroscherTChenDKerevelASchlaikjerS Davis M 2013 ‘China - Iran: A Limited Partnership’ The us - China Economic and Security Review Commission. Available from <http://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/China-Iran–A%20Limited%20Partnership.pdf>. [5 April 2015].
MedeirosE2007Reluctant Restraint: The Evolution of China’s Nonproliferation Policies and Practices 1980–2004Stanford UniversityPress.
MüllerH2004 ‘Arguing Bargaining and all that: Communicative Action Rationalist Theory and the Logic of Appropriateness in International Relations’ European Journal of International Relations vol10 no. 3 pp. 395–435.
NikitinMBD Holt M 2015 ‘U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.’ Available from https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33192.pdf. [23 May 2015].
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Vienna 2005 ‘Ambassador Wu Hailong Made a Statement on Iranian Nuclear Issue at iaea Board of Governors Meeting.’ Available from <http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/ce/cgvienna/eng/xw/t213613.htm > [12 May 2015].
SmithR. J.1996 ‘China may cancel proposed sale of nuclear facility to Iran’ The Washington Post 6 Nov. Available from <http://search.proquest.com/docview/307985081?accountid=10901>. [26 August 2010].
TothRobert C. 1985.
‘China: Cranston Cites Nuclear Exports China Exports Nuclear Items, Cranston Says’The Los Angeles Times 21 October. Available from: <http://search.proquest.com/docview/292206763?accountid=10901>. [1 August 2010].