Trading with the Enemy

Trading with the Enemy : The Making of US Export Control Policy toward the People's Republic of China

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In light of the intertwining logics of military competition and economic interdependence at play in US-China relations, Trading with the Enemy examines how the United States has balanced its potentially conflicting national security and economic interests in its relationship with the People's Republic of China (PRC). To do so, Hugo Meijer investigates a strategically sensitive yet under-explored facet of US-China relations: the making of American export
control policy on military-related technology transfers to China since 1979. Trading with the Enemy is the first monograph on this dimension of the US-China relationship in the post-Cold War. Based on 199 interviews, declassified documents, and diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, two major findings emerge from
this book. First, the US is no longer able to apply a strategy of military/technology containment of China in the same way it did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. This is because of the erosion of its capacity to restrict the transfer of military-related technology to the PRC. Secondly, a growing number of actors in Washington have reassessed the nexus between national security and economic interests at stake in the US-China relationship - by moving beyond the Cold War trade-off
between the two - in order to maintain American military preeminence vis-a-vis its strategic rivals. By focusing on how states manage the heterogeneous and potentially competing security and economic interests at stake in a bilateral relationship, this book seeks to shed light on the evolving character
of interstate rivalry in a globalized economy, where rivals in the military realm are also economically interdependent.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 157 x 235 x 24mm | 586g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0190889179
  • 9780190889173
  • 1,931,930

Table of contents

Preface by David Lampton
List of Abbreviations


Part I: The Strategic Triangle and US Defense Technology Transfers to the PRC during the Cold War
Chapter 1: From the Korean War to Normalization: US Export Controls Prior to 1979
Chapter 2: US-China Military Cooperation in the Last Decade of the Cold War

Part II: The Legacy of Tiananmen: Technology Controls in the Post-Cold War Era
Chapter 3: The Rise of China and the Collapse of COCOM
Chapter 4: Key Actors and Coalitions in the 1990s: The Rise of the Run Faster Coalition
Chapter 5: Supercomputers, Telecommunications Equipment, and China's Military Modernization
Chapter 6: Chinagate, the Cox Report, and Communications Satellites

Part III: China's Military Buildup and Strategic Trade Controls in the 21st Century
Chapter 7: China's Military Modernization and Foreign Defense Technology Acquisition
Chapter 8: The People's Liberation Army and Dual-Use Information and Communications Technologies
Chapter 9: Communications Satellites and the China Quagmire
Chapter 10: The China Rule and the China 'Threat'

Conclusion: Beyond Containment: Security and Economics in the US-China Relationship

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Review quote

...Ultimately, Meijer's account of how growing economic interdependence in trade and finance potentially undermines the ability to utilize typical instruments of military and technological containment in the 21st century offers dynamic analysis of US foreign policy towards China. In highlighting the consequences of increasingly multifaceted security objectives amid the commercialization of military-related technology in global markets, Meijer provides a rich tapestry
from which to understand the potential pitfalls for America's national security and its primacy in technology and innovation in a world accustomed to US dominance in these realms...Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students and faculty. * N. Sackeyfio, CHOICE * 'ambitious and comprehensive study of US export control policy toward the People's Republic of China Meijer's book is an impressive piece of scholarship that is both accessible and highly engaging Meijer does an outstanding job of leveraging the information and insights gained from his many high-level interviews in building his argument. His nuanced empirical analysis draws from declassified documents, government reports and public statements by various US
officials, and - most importantly - nearly 200 interviews. The book will be of great interest to experts in the academic and policy communities who focus on US-China relations." * China Quarterly * During the Cold War, the United States made the sensible decision to restrict the export of advanced military technologies to its chief strategic rival, the Soviet Union. In contrast, U.S. high-tech firms now need access to large and growing markets in China in order to fund the research and development that keeps them at the cutting edge. Meijer charts an admirably clear path through the complexities of his subject to show how U.S. export control policy evolved over
30 years." * Foreign Affairs * As geo-strategic and military competition grows between the United States and China, the greatest rivalry will take place in the strategic and dual-use high technology domain. Even as they contest for influence and dominance in the South China Sea and cyberspace, the overall race for global leadership will ultimately be decided in terms of technological innovation, industrial capacity, and economic sustainability. Hugo Meijer does a great service in shedding
considerable light and providing analytical clarity in addressing this hugely complex issue. This is essential reading for anyone looking to understand the dynamics and long-term prospects for US-China strategic competition."
- Tai Ming Cheung, University of California San Diego Based on new and unique primary source information, Hugo Meijer's Trading with the Enemy tells the important and heretofore untold story of US policy toward China on the export of arms and military-related technology from the Korean War to the present. This excellent and eminently readable work significantly contributes to our understanding of the shifting security and economic dynamics at play between the United States and China at a time when these dynamics are
critical to global stability and prosperity."
- Evan S. Medeiros, former U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs A fascinating sub-story of US-China relations. Despite all of the changes in the relationship, one constant over six-plus decades has been Washington's effort to restrict military-related technology transfers to China through its unilateral and multilateral export control regimes. Hugo Meijer's Trading with the Enemy offers a fine-grained historical accounting of this effort, which is of use to scholars and policymakers alike." * David Shambaugh, George Washington University, and The Brookings Institution
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About Hugo Meijer

Hugo Meijer is Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. He is also the Academic Director of The European Initiative on Security Studies, a network of over sixty universities that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe. Previously, he was Lecturer in Defence Studies at King's College London (2013-2016) and a Researcher at the Institute for Strategic
Research (IRSEM, Paris, 2016-2017). He received his PhD in International Relations from Sciences Po in 2013.
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