Broadening dialogue on responsible arms control in China

China’s international security cooperation has predominantly focused on the threats posed by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There is limited knowledge among the Chinese academic and policy community of conventional arms control issues.

As China is one of the largest exporters of small arms and light weapons to the developing world there is a strong demand for greater awareness and research on China’s role in the conventional arms trade. Small arms proliferation poses a significant threat to international security through sustaining and fuelling violent conflict across the world.

Saferworld is working with Chinese academics to encourage debate on how China can play a more active role in international efforts to counter arms proliferation. Working with the School of International Relations and Political Science at Tongji University in Shanghai, we have set up a resource centre on conventional arms.

Through the Resource Centre we aim to raise the profile of these issues and facilitate dialogue on Chinese involvement in relevant multilateral initiatives. The centre provides an environment for research and study on conventional arms, with a library of relevant books, journals and reports, as well as a venue for meetings. An online resource centre contains all relevant materials in electronic form in Chinese and English.

Saferworld is also holding a series of lectures and seminars at Tongji University, as well as in other universities across China, to introduce graduate students to the current discourse on conventional arms transfer controls, conflict prevention and international security.