China became a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun said in a statement welcoming further evidence of Beijing's commitment to multilateralism . This membership "illustrates China's determination and sincerity to maintain an international arms control regime, to support multilateralism and to forge a community with a common future for humanity," he said.
The statement said that China only allows arms exports to sovereign states and not to non-state actors. Under the treaty procedure, the ATT will apply to China after 90 days. China is the world's second largest arms manufacturer and announced its decision to join the ATT on June 22.
Read also: A treaty to control the arms trade
With this country, this Treaty now has 107 States Parties. The ATT was adopted in 2013 by the UN and entered into force the following year. It provides that each signatory country must assess before any transaction whether the arms sold are likely to be used to circumvent an international embargo, to be diverted for the benefit of criminals or to violate human rights. The armaments covered range from pistols, planes and warships, to missiles.
The United States, the world's largest arms supplier, signed the treaty under the presidency of Barack Obama, but Congress never ratified it.