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Western Arms Exports to China
Oliver Bräuner, Mark Bromley and Mathieu Duchâtel
SIPRI Policy Paper No. 43
ISBN: 978-91-85114-87-0

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In 1989 several Western states imposed arms embargoes on China. Nevertheless, China has continued to benefit from the transfer of military-relevant Western goods and technologies in its efforts to modernize its defence forces’ industrial and technological capabilities.

This Policy Paper details the policies of four Western states—France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States—on transfers of military-related technologies to China, including military goods, dual-use items—goods and technologies that have the potential to be used in both civilian and military products—and other non-controlled items that have played a role in the development of China’s military capabilities.

The authors conclude that, while Western transfers of militarily-relevant technology to China will remain limited for the foreseeable future, Western states need to develop more harmonized and transparent approaches to the issue that take relevant developments within China into account.

Related publications

Bromley, M., Canada's controls on arms exports to China, SIPRI Background Paper, Jan. 2015. Bromley, M., Norway's controls on arms exports to China, SIPRI Background Paper, Jan. 2015.

Additional tables are also available as an online appendix.


1. Introduction
2. The United States’ export controls on transfers to China
3. European export controls on transfers to China: France, Germany and the United Kingdom
4. China’s adaptation to Western export controls
5. Conclusions and recommendations

About the authors

Oliver Bräuner (Germany) is a Researcher with SIPRI’s China and Global Security Project. His research interests include maritime security in East Asia and relations between China and the European Union.

Mark Bromley (United Kingdom) is Co-Director of SIPRI’s Dual-use and Arms Trade Control Programme, where his work focuses on national, regional and international efforts to regulate the international arms trade.

Dr Mathieu Duchâtel (France) is head of SIPRI’s China and Global Security Project and is SIPRI’s representative in Beijing. His research interests include China’s foreign and security policies in North East Asia and China–Europe relations.

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-87-0
68 pp.
January 2015
Price: €7.50 per copy plus €5 shipping and handling per order


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