John W. Garve* The Washington Quarterly
One aspect of China’s Iran policy suggests a sincere effort to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime in cooperation with the United States. Another suggests that Beijing believes a nuclear-armed or nuclear-armed-capable Iran would serve China’s geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf region. Is China playing a dual game toward Iran? This question cannot be answered with certainty, but given its importance, a tentative and necessarily somewhat speculative effort to think through the matter is in order.
*John W. Garver is a professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of China and Iran: Ancient Partners in a Post-Imperial World (University of Washington Press, 2006) and, with Jon Alterman, Vital Triangle: China, the United States, and the Middle East (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008).
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