Yes, we live in a global village and collaboration is key to advancing nanotech, plus there's a mint to be made in China for nanotech companies. However, as we've discussed before, many nanotech startups are going for military applications first because that's where the money is. Much of the same basic technology can also be used for peaceful purposes. So, how can you tell a nanotech company not to export to China the same material it developed for the U.S. Department of Defense?
The "dual-use" question is a tough one to answer. But the bottom line is this: The United States is the leader in nanotech development. Nano companies are eager to partner with overseas companies and to sell their products overseas. Many nanotech materials and processes can be incorporated into civilian or military products. If terrorists or rogue nations are going to get their hands on some nanotech-enabled weaponry, the technology is likely to have originated in the United States.