Organisational communications

China ATT update

Issue 4

This is the fourth issue of ATT update, copublished in Chinese and English by Saferworld and Tongji University. The ATT update is a platform for Chinese experts, academics, and students to exchange their views on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) initiative and to track international efforts to regulate the global transfer of conventional arms under the ATT process.

On 7 November 2012 a draft Resolution (L.11) was passed overwhelmingly by vote in the First Committee. 157 states, including China, voted in favour, supporting a final round of ATT negotiation from 18-28 March 2013. After failing to reach consensus in the negotiations held in July 2012, states will gather in a second attempt to finalise a treaty under the same rules of consensus.

In this issue, Mr Zhai Dequan from China Arms Control and Disarmament Association (CACDA) shares his outlook on the upcoming March negotiations. In his article, What will the ATT be?, he highlights the significance of the United States in the negotiations and notes some crucial controversies which could lead to disputes in the future. In her article A successful, pragmatic, fair, and universal Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be welcomed by all, Prof Ouyang Liping from China Institute of Contemporary International Relations demonstrates that a strong ATT is in line with China’s own interests to combat terrorism and to act as a responsible player in the international community. Ms He Yun from Tsinghua University reviews China’s policy statements on the ATT from 2010 to 2012 in her article China’s evolving position towards the ATT, with a focus on China’s evolving position on the timing of the conclusion, scope, and importance of the ATT. She also presents her personal understanding of the possible reasons behind policy changes.

*The information and views set out in this update are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views and positions of Saferworld.

To see previous issues, click for issue 1, issue 2, issue 3, or issue 4.


“A strong ATT is in line with China's own interests… China seeks to act as a responsible player, to further improve its laws and regulations as well as their enforcement, and bring them in line with international standards as far as possible.”

Prof Ouyang Liping, Institute of Strategic Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations