Handshake with the Dragon: engaging China in the biological weapons convention
Lewis, James H., III
Lavoy, Peter R.
Wirtz, James J.
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The 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) currently lacks procedures for verifying compliance of signatories; this shortcoming, in combination with advances in biotechnology and a changing global security environment have resulted in the continued proliferation of biological and toxin weapons (BTW). Efforts to strengthen the BWC with an inspection protocol have been hampered by disagreement over intrusive inspection and the threat it poses to national security and industrial competitiveness. Debate within the United States, however, fails to consider the impact of U.S. involvement in the inspection regime on the behavior of signatories such as China which are suspected to be violating the treaty. Michael Swaine's model of Chinese government decision making is used to evaluate reactions to three U.S. policies toward BWC inspections. Research suggests that responsibility for BWC verification overlaps institutional interests and that U.S. participation in the protocol may have a positive effect in the Chinese cost-benefit calculation of accepting inspections. Findings suggest that one way of encouraging nations such as China in nonproliferation efforts may be to push forward and accept intrusive inspections, with an understanding of their limitations and costs.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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