Analysing the Impact of International Sanctions on China

IR Working Paper 1989/4

Author/s (editor/s):

Peter Van Ness

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
IR Working Paper 1989/4

Peter Van Ness, ‘Analysing the Impact of International Sanctions on China’, IR Working Paper 1989/4, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, December 1989.

This paper is an analysis of the sanctions imposed by the West and Japan on the government of the People’s Republic of China following its massive use of force to suppress the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in the first week of June 1989. The paper addresses two questions: first, what is the best way of thinking about international sanctions in the case of China? In attempting to answer this question, I examine the general literature on sanctions and construct an approach to the China case study which draws heavily on the work of David Baldwin, Hufbauer and Schott, and Kim Nossal. For the purpose of this analysis, sanctions are conceived of as both symbolic and material, positive and negative. The second question addresses is: what was the initial impact of sanctions on the PRC during the first six months following the Beijing massacre, and how can we best gauge the longer term effect of international sanctions on China? The range of symbolic and material sanctions imposed is described, and a tentative assessment of their impact is presented.

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