China drafts law to control arms sales

2019-12-25 09:09:16Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China is reviewing a draft law that will see arms sale properly controlled, a measure that comes at a time when Beijing is beginning to master world-leading military technologies which should not fall into the wrong hands, experts said on Monday.

The draft law listed goods, technologies and services "related to fulfilling international obligations and safeguarding national security" as export-controlled items including military-civilian dual-use items, military products and nuclear-related products, the China News Service reported on Monday.

The draft was submitted on Monday to the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress for deliberation, the report said.

China's Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said China's export control measures are relatively scattered and not optimized, resulting in a range of controlled items and control measures not fully reciprocal and balanced with other countries, meaning a new law was needed, according to the report. 

The draft was formulated based on past experiences and international practices, and is flexible, the report said.

It empowers related authorities to evaluate designated countries or regions and set corresponding risk levels for export control. 

It can also ban exports of an item, or to a specific country, region, person or organization.

Li Daguang, a professor at the National Defense University of the People's Liberation Army in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday that the draft law came at a time when China is seeing rapid development in science and technology, and some of the technologies no longer lag behind Western countries.

This draft could protect sensitive technologies and safeguard national security, just like Western countries block China from importing advanced military technologies from them, Li said. 

China will also not allow dangerous weapons to fall into the hands of the wrong people who could use them to sabotage peace, a move to fulfill China's international obligation, Li said.

Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, told the Global Times that the draft law, if passed, would also be an important counter to Western countries' wrong accusations about China's arms sales.

Setting up a transparent law in accordance with international practice and following it up will promote a positive image for China's arms sales, Xu said.

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