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China – Non-Proliferation & Strategic Trade Controls

China map 1920

Research carried out at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) is seeking to understand the role of China in non-proliferation and strategic trade controls.

China’s position as one of the legal nuclear powers amongst the five permanent United Nations Security Council members, its strong relationship with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and its centrality to global trade makes it an important stakeholder in global non-proliferation and strategic trade control regimes.


Researchers at the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) are seeking to understand how best to balance trade and security interests vis-à-vis China using a variety of open source techniques.

  • By mapping out proliferation networks operating in China to understand how they interact with Chinese government, economic and legal systems. This research further seeks to understand specific methods and typologies, which proliferators use when operating in China, and in this regard, aims to assess the effectiveness of Chinese law enforcement.
  • By examining developments in China’s approach to non-proliferation. Researchers at the Centre are currently following the development of China’s upcoming Export Control Law and seeking to understand how its implementation may impact China’s domestic export control regime, international businesses, and engagement with the global non-proliferation community.

In addition, this research is seeking to comprehend China’s relationship with the DPRK and the role of strategic trade levers China uses on Pyongyang. It is also looking into the dynamic and diverging political and economic drivers that exist between central and local authorities in dealing with the DPRK.

Project status: Ongoing

Principal investigators

Christopher J. Watterson

Research Associate


KCL War Studies Headshots May 2019-144

Daniel Liu

Research Associate

KCL War Studies Headshots May 2019-55

Felix Ruechardt

Research Affiliate

Eunha Yun

Research Affiliate