China and the nuclear crises in Iran and North Korea
The nuclear deal with Iran is in crisis, and talks on the North Korean nuclear program has made little progress. At the same time, China is well on its way to become one of the world’s most powerful states. How important is it for China to prevent any further proliferation of nuclear weapons?
The international efforts to handle Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs are both entering critical phases. The summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has created hopes of disarmament, but talks have so far yielded limited progress. In Iran the U.S. scrapping of the nuclear deal and reinstatement of sanctions has created uncertainty over Iran’s nuclear future.
In both nuclear crises, China plays a key role. Chinese leaders have traditionally maintained close ties to the North Korean regime, and China has major influence over the implementation of sanctions. Beijing has also played a major role in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Moreover, China has strong economic ties to Iran, and has in the past supported Iran’s missile program as well as its nuclear program.
In this seminar, NUPI senior researcher Henrik Stålhane Hiim will analyze the evolution of China’s approach to the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea. Based on his recent book, Strategic Assistance: China and International Nuclear Weapons Proliferation, Hiim will outline what China’s policies towards these two countries implies about its broader attitude towards the spread of nuclear weapons.
Associate Professor at the University of Oslo, Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer, and Associate Professor at The Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Ian Bowers, will comment the presentation. Senior Research Fellow at NUPI, Sverre Lodgaard, will moderate the seminar.
The event will be live steamed on NUPI's YouTube channel: