پایان نامه دکتری اسفندیار خدایی با عنوان: تحریمهای ایران در روابط آمریکا و چین: تعامل آمرانه آمریکا در مقابل موازنه نرم چین؛ دانشگاه تهران، دانشکده مطالعات جهان، بهمن 1396
Sanctions in US – China Relations
American Guarded Engagement vs. Chinese Soft Balancing
Mohammad Ali Mousavi
Throughout the nuclear dispute, the United States actively engaged with world powers and the trade partners of Iran to make sanctions effective in pressuring Tehran. Most trade partners of Iran reduced trade with this country either voluntarily as alignment with the United States, or under pressures from Washington. The role of China as the first trade partner of Iran and as a veto power in the U.N. Security Council was controversial. In practice, China continued and even expanded trade with Iran; and the Chinese companies somehow filled the void of the absence of European and Asian rivals. This dissertation plans to answer the question that why the United States could not make China follow sanctions similar to other trade partners of Iran. It studies U.S. policy to make China follow sanctions on Iran, China’s response, and the limitations of Washington in dealing with Beijing. Reviewing the events through process-tracing method, shows that the Obama administration implemented a guarded-engagement strategy to make China join sanctions and reduce trade with Iran. The United States diplomatically engaged with China and considered Chinese economic and energy interests and security concerns in the region. On the other hand, Washington pressured Beijing through different channels such as sanctions against Chinese companies and banks. In response, China followed a soft-balancing strategy. This rising power did not directly stand against the United States to safeguard grand interests in relations with America and the West. China eventually voted for all the UN Security Council resolutions after some modifications on the texts to secure China’s interests. On the other hand, China practically continued and even expanded trade with Iran and refrained voluntary cooperation to make sanction costly and abortive in order to thwart U.S. domination over the energy-rich Middle East, and to prevent U.S. concentration on East Asia where China’s core interests are located. The United States faced limitations in making China follow Iran sanctions similar to what other trade partners of Iran did. These limitations can be categorized in economic and political boundaries. Sanctions against China, as the first trade partner of the United States, would endanger U.S. economic interests and might antagonize China to join anti-American coalitions and to stand against the United States in other issues. Keeping close relations with China and other major economies is essential for America to safeguard the role of U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency. Despite the threatening American rhetoric, Washington never imposed serious sanctions on major Chinese energy companies dealing with Iran. Neoclassical realism theory provides a flexible framework by considering both the structural position of states in the anarchic international system, and the domestic factors concerning the key role of the policymakers, and the complex interactions between them. The findings of this study show that decades of exceptional economic growth has placed China in such a position that U.S. power tools such as threats, sanctions and pressures are either too costly and risky, or less productive in making China follow American policies.
Key Words:US-China Relations, Iran Sanctions, Guarded Engagement, Soft Balancing, Neoclassical
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