Skip to content

China aspires to join the UN Arms Treaty “as soon as possible”

September 28, 2019

BEIJING, Sep 28 (Reuters / EP) –

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has confirmed on Saturday that the country wants to join “as soon as possible” the International Arms Treaty promoted by the UN, adding that it is the responsibility of China to participate as a member of the international community.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has said that he intends to revoke the signing of the treaty, which regulates the global cross-border trade of conventional weapons, worth 70,000 million dollars, and tries to keep weapons out of reach of those who violate Human Rights.

So far, 104 countries have joined the pact, which the General Assembly approved in 2013. The then president of the United States, Barack Obama, had signed it, but the National Rifle Association and other conservative groups opposed it and never was ratified by the US Senate.

In a speech to the United Nations on Friday, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China has initiated internal legal procedures to adhere to the Arms Trade Treaty.

China's Foreign Ministry has said in a statement following Wang's announcement that the country is struggling to adhere to the treaty “as soon as possible.”

“This is an important action for China to actively participate in the governance of world arms trade and reflects the determination of the country's government to support multilateralism,” he added.

The Ministry has stressed that China has always attached great importance to the issue of the illegal sale of weapons and their misuse, and supports the purposes and objectives of the treaty.

“As a responsible member of the international family, China is ready to continue strengthening exchanges and cooperation with all parties and to work together to create a normalized and reasonable order for the arms trade and make positive contributions to peacekeeping and international and regional stability, “he added.

Since both countries started a trade war, China has repeatedly criticized the United States for its withdrawal from international treaties and for not following the rules, trying to present China as a staunch defender of multilateralism.

China was the fifth largest arms exporter in the world between 2014 and 2018, according to the Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research, although it is true that the Asian nation does not publish figures on the number of weapons it exports.

After that period, China delivered important weapons to 53 countries, with Pakistan being the main recipient followed by Bangladesh, according to the expert group.

After years of sharp increases in military spending, experts say some Chinese-made equipment is now comparable to those of its Russian or Western counterparts, although accurate information on the performance of Chinese weapons is scarce.

China faces the ban on Western military imports. This makes its national arms industry crucial to creating a modern army that can enforce its rights over Taiwan and the maritime territories in dispute.