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Dragon dance or panda trot? China’s position towards the Iranian Nuclear Programme and its perception of EU unilateral Iran sanctions

Pieper, Moritz 2013, 'Dragon dance or panda trot? China’s position towards the Iranian Nuclear Programme and its perception of EU unilateral Iran sanctions' , European Journal of East Asian Studies, 12 (2) , pp. 295-316.

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Abstract

In its foreign policy towards the Iranian nuclear programme, China is unwilling to join the partially harsh anti-Iran rhetoric of the US and the EU3. China has averted the imposition of sanctions and only abstained from its veto power as a permanent UNSC member after considerable diplomatic persuasion by ‘the West’. Beijing was cautious not to spoil its image as a ‘responsible Great Power’, walking a diplomatic tightrope in balancing a pragmatic–commercial approach to business in Iran and mollifying Western security concerns related to the Iranian nuclear programme, following the tradition of Deng Xiaoping’s doctrine of ‘maintaining a low profile’. Increasingly, however, China is conveying a more assertive foreign policy and is no longer hiding its strategic interests. This paper argues that with the EU3 being at the forefront of nuclear diplomacy with Iran, disagreements with China over the EU’s recent sanctions policy against Iran can, but need not, be a step in the direction of EU–China strategic alienation in the search for long-term solutions to the Iranian nuclear stalemate.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of East Asian Studies
Publisher: Brill
ISSN: 1568-0584
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Moritz Pieper
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2016 13:36
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2016 09:55
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38071

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