China has now formally enacted the “Export Control Law” during the 22nd Session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress. This law will regulate China’s international military sales in effect from December 1, 2020.
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This law builds upon China’s existing export control regulations, which are scattered across multiple laws, administrative regulations, and rules and measures issued by various departments, with the goal of creating a unified export control system to promote China’s national security and interests and ‘commitment to nonproliferation’, according to Lexology.
The law will effectively control the exports based upon various factors like licensing requirements based on product features, end-users, destinations, or end-uses. It is to be noted that Chinese systems, especially UAVs and other munitions are in growing demand around the world and are now a common sight in the battlefields of the middle east.
The legislation is also seen as a Chinese response to international criticism of its military export policy.
Article 1 of the new legislation states that “These regulations are formulated for the purposes of strengthening [the] export control of missiles and missile-related items and technologies, and safeguarding the state security and social and public interests”.
The law focuses specifically on the export of dual-use, military, and nuclear goods, technologies and services, and other items that are related to the maintenance of national security and national interests and performance of nonproliferation and other international obligations (“Controlled Items”).
China’s increasing footprint in the world of defence manufacturing and export has risen considerably in recent years, and its policy of selling military items to ‘non-deserving’ countries has driven criticism around the world.
Its sales of armed UAVs to the nations to whom the U.S. had declined its MQ-9 ‘Reaper’ drones even prompted Washington to act and ease its export policy a bit, which was highlighted when it agreed to sell Reapers to UAE.