Determinants of China’s arms exports: a political economy perspective

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Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of China’s arms transfers by focusing on the roles of political factors and energy resource acquisition. Using Stockholm International Peace Research Institute data on China’s arms exports during the period from 2001 to 2014, we find that China is likely to sell and transfer more arms to countries with less political freedom and more corrupt or more autocratic countries, implying that political considerations are hidden in arms transfers. The motivation for seeking energy resources is overall supported, suggesting that China’s arms transfers are also motived by securing their need for energy and natural resources. That arms trade is a joint decision of both sides implies that political considerations also exist for autocratic regimes or resource-abundant low-income countries to acquire weapons from China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Asia Pacific Economy
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Arms trade
  • China
  • energy
  • polity

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