Xin Zhan is a professor and director of Center for Cold War and Contemporary International Relations Studies, Northeast Normal University (Changchun, China). His research areas include the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and the history of Sino-American relations. He was a visiting scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University in 2009 and the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica (Taipei) in 2015. He has published a number of articles in leading Chinese journals, including “On the United States’ Evaluations of and Counter-Measures Against China’s Nuclear Weapons Development (1961-1964)”, Contemporary China History Studies, No.3, 2001; “American Nuclear Strategy toward China and Sino-Soviet Border Conflict in 1969”, Chinese Communist History Studies, No.10, 2011. Zhan also published a book “Cold War and U.S. Nuclear Strategy” in 2013. He is publishing an article “Prelude of the Transformation: China’s Nuclear Arms Control Policy during the U.S-China Rapprochement, 1969-1976” in Diplomatic History and new book “the U.S. and Chinese Nuclear Program (1946-1976)” in 2017.

Project Summary

The U.S. played an important role in changing China’s nuclear nonproliferation policy. China faced existential crises caused by inherent nuclear blackmail and/or possible nuclear attacks from the United States during the cold war. China joined the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1984. In 1988, China signed the Agreement with the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards in China, and voluntarily placed its civilian nuclear facilities under the IAEA safeguards. However, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the direct military threat and indirect nuclear blackmail from the Soviet Union forced China to identify the Soviet Union as its major security concern, which resulted in the normalization of its diplomatic relationship with the United States in 1979. In cooperating with the United States against Soviet expansionism. After the Cold War, China actively cooperated with the United States to participate in international non-proliferation efforts. Differences and conflicts on nonproliferation policy between China and the United States exist, but this gap has been significantly narrowed in spite of some twists and turns in the process. Cooperation between China and the United States can improve if both sides take more positive attitudes and refrain from simple censure or defense.

Major Publications