MacArthur has announced seven grants totaling more than $1 million to help expand the pool of experts in China who can provide scientific and technical advice on issues related to international security policy, and to strengthen their links to policymakers and with counterparts abroad.

“China has transformed itself, in relatively short order, from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented creator and seller of modern technology and industrial products—making it the second largest economy in the world,” said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. “Over the past quarter century, it has become a leading economic, military, and political player.  For these reasons, it is critical to expand the pool of scientists and technical specialists in China with the knowledge and skills to provide sound advice to policymakers on pressing international security issues.”

Tsinghua University’s Institute of International Studies in Beijing received a grant of $250,000 over three years in support of its Arms Control Program. The Program will offer courses on the political and technical issues of arms control and nonproliferation; sponsor public lectures at the university; organize seminars for students, junior researchers, and government officials; and sponsor a range of opportunities for focused training, research, and student and faculty exchange.

A second grant of $120,000 over two years was awarded to Tsinghua University to publish four volumes of Science of International Politics each year. The periodical is an important, new peer-reviewed journal of international studies in China, first published in 2005.

A grant of $200,000 over three years was awarded to the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics in Beijing, to organize and host two international conferences and two workshops on technical issues related to securing, reducing, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other security issues. These fora are intended to facilitate the free exchange of ideas between Chinese scientists and their international counterparts.

Peking University’s School of International Studies in Beijing, China, received a grant of $150,000 over two years to integrate scientific expertise into its curriculum. Grant funds will be used to create permanent and visiting faculty positions for scientists and engineers who specialize in international security issues, provide summer workshops on emerging issues in international security for science faculty, hold introductory seminars on international security for graduate-level scientists and engineers, and provide stipends for interdisciplinary research projects.

A grant of $100,000 over two years was awarded to the Beijing-based China Arms Control and Disarmament Association for research to help limit the spread of biological weapons. Grant funds will be used to study trends in biotechnology research and consider the adequacy of existing biological arms control measures; to provide government agencies with advice for governing biotechnologies; to help raise awareness about existing laws and regulations; and to develop training materials to improve the implementation of existing policy and control measures.

The China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies in Beijing received a grant of $100,000 over two years for Chinese experts to study the possible connections in and among individual and corporate traffickers in nuclear components, transnational organized criminal networks, and international terrorist groups. The project will initially focus on the Al Qaeda terrorist and Abdul Quadeer Khan proliferation network.

Beijhang University’s School of Astronautics in Beijing received a grant of $92,000 over two years for research on space debris and other risks to spacecraft and satellites. Research will focus on the properties and behavior of debris clouds in an effort to better understand the threats they pose to anti-satellite weapons and weapons tests in space.

International Peace & Security, Asia, Peace & Security