Arms Transfers and China’s Long-Term Goals: An Assessment of China’s Current Strategy in the Defense Market

Arms transfers are a critical tool for any state’s ability to achieve foreign policy goals, influence security interests, and develop into an advanced economy. China’s history of dismissing international norms and its languid defense industry has contributed to a poor reputation as an arms producer. Moreover, its decision-making has often been clumsy, shortsighted and disconnected from a broader strategy.

This analysis paper presents evidence demonstrating that this perception is outdated. Comparing China’s arms export behavior in the period from 1960-1997 to its recent record, this paper measures China’s development of effective arms export strategies in its foreign policy, security and the domestic defense industry. The author concludes that China is becoming skilled at implementing nuanced export policies aligned to long-term goals particularly in its approach to foreign interests and security, and to a lesser extent, its defense modernization.

Read the full analysis paper here:

Arms Transfers and China’s Long-Term Goals: An Assessment of China’s Current Strategy in the Defense Market

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Cameron Hobbs conducts research and analysis of defense technologies, export control regimes, and the international defense market. He has experience inside the defense industry assessing aerospace and defense markets globally, but with particular focus on the Asia-Pacific. He holds an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. from the University of South Carolina Honors College.

Photo by kremlin.ru / CC BY 4.0 (photo cropped)

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