The European Union (EU) commended China for its ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on July 7, encouraging other countries, especially major arms exporters, to join it.
Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country -- the world's largest arms exporter -- out of the treaty, revoking former President Barack Obama's signature in 2013.
A statement by a spokesperson of the European External Action Service, the EU's diplomatic service, said that by acceding to the ATT, China contributes to the advancement of the ATT's objectives to regulate the international trade in conventional arms, to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and ammunition, and to prevent their diversion. Increased transparency in the international arms trade is another important objective of the ATT.
The statement added that this is an important development as a more responsible global arms trade would contribute to peace, security and stability, reduce human suffering, and promote cooperation, transparency and increased confidence. It would also create better conditions for sustainable development. The EU supports the universalization and implementation of the ATT, it noted.
The statement added that the EU encourages other States, especially major arms exporters, importers and transit States, to become State Parties to the ATT before the next Conference of States Parties, thus strengthening the multilateral framework.
Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, deposited China's instrument of accession to ATT to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on July 6, concluding all legal procedures for China's accession to the ATT.
ATT was approved by the UN General Assembly in 2013. The then-U.S. President Obama signed it, but upon opposition from the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Senate never ratified it.
Trump said in April 2019 that he intended to revoke the status of the United States as a signatory. In July 2019, the United States told Guterres that Washington did not intend to become a party and that it had no legal obligations from Obama's signature.