China has recently joined the UN Arms Trade Treaty. The country believes it will help in ‘enhancing peace’ and ‘ensuring stability’ across various countries.
The objective to enter this treaty to ‘enhance peace’ is as ironic as one can imagine. A clash with India at the border at one hand and tensions with the USA at the other renders this decision to join the treaty very crucial. The communist party’s legal body voted on a decision to adopt the treaty. The US’s recent efforts to get China talking at a nuclear agreement has also changed warfare dynamics.
The Obvio(US) Factor
Along with the US pushing for a trilateral understanding of nuclear weapons with China and Russia, it also withdrew from ATT. After Obama endorsed the treaty, Trump has been incessant about his efforts to revoke the same. This, with his constant diplomatic attacks on China, has agitated administration under Xi Jinping.
Sealed in 2013, the Arms Trade Treaty aims to regulate the trade of conventional weapons. Thus regulation mainly includes conflicted zones where the chances superpowers acting irresponsibly is high. Developed through a UN resolution, the origins of this idea can be traced back to the 1980s. Sparking quite a controversy, Trump signed out from the treaty in 2019. Experts back then rightly predicted that consequences of that decision will continue to haunt the UN for years to come.
The world seems to define this step as entering a dangerous arms race. With the global stockpile of nuclear warheads decreasing, the US and Russia still account for 90% of it. With this, China agreeing to regulations is an indirect way of keeping an eye on military developments of some countries. In a recent statement by an official, China believes every effort of the US is in the direction of infiltrating China’s supremacy.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also mentioned how by accepting the treaty, China supports ‘multiculturism’.