China's arms exports don't violate rules: Expert

Updated: 2015-03-19 10:28

By Liu Qiang(

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Like many countries, China is both an exporter and importer of weapons, because it needs them for its national defense and economic development. As such, it should not be used a pretext by some to criticize China. China has always followed international norms on the import and export of weapons. That's why people who criticize China for its comparatively small arms exports while turning a blind eye to large-scale even illegal arms deals in other parts of the world raise doubts about their motives.

Aside from some Western media intent on catching people's attention by raising a storm in a teacup over China's arms exports, some people have also chosen to judge China with a Cold War mentality. Whatever China does always arouses negative feelings in them. The hue and cry over China's cheap but well-functioning weapons is also because Western countries fear they could erode their traditional market share. It is concerns like these that have prompted them to exaggerate the “China's threat” theory and, in the process, make some gains.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China knows and has been fulfilling its responsibilities to maintain peace and security in the world. It has also made efforts to ensure arms control and non-proliferation. Despite not signing the Arms Trade Treaty because of some special reasons, China did play a constructive role in the talks leading to its eventual signing.

China has always abided by the UN stipulation on arms registration and reporting. Also, it has conducted normal arms trade with other countries in an open and transparent manner and firmly opposes arms smuggling. It is therefore unbecoming of some countries to set up barriers for China's normal arms trade. And China should not be entrapped in the shackles set by certain countries, and it should not abandon its reasonable and legitimate weapons' trade only because of the annoying noises from abroad.

The author is a professor at and presiding director of the Strategy and Security Institute, the PLA University of International Studies.

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