China’s top legislative body voted to join a global treaty on arms sales in a move that
supports Beijing’s efforts to contrast itself with US President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress decided to join the Arms Trade Treaty during a meeting that ended on Saturday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. China had initially withheld support from the treaty, which regulates cross-border trade in several categories of conventional arms and prohibits their transfer under certain circumstances. It decided to sign it after Trump announced plans last year to pull the US out.
The treaty was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 and entered into force in December 2014, setting rules for participating nations on the sales and transfer of small arms, missile launchers and warships. More than 100 countries have ratified or agreed to abide by it.
In 2019, Trump said the US would pull out of the treaty, which was signed by then-Secretary of State John Kerry but never ratified by the US Senate.