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Truthful, acceptable and non-discriminatory export controls are an essential assure for globalization


Truthful, acceptable and non-discriminatory export controls are an essential assure for globalization


Photo: Global Times

The Chinese State Council Information Office on Wednesday issued the country’s first White Paper on Export Controls, suggesting that international export control should be developed in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory direction. This is the right approach that China has advocated in response to the chaotic situation in the international governance of export control and the anti-globalization sentiment to let the torch of multilateralism light the way for humanity. As export control systems and mechanisms are set up and improved in more and more countries, they are expected to encourage and guarantee a profound development of globalization rather than block this trend.

Export control aims to regulate and promote trade rather than restricting trade.

Export controls reduce security risks and help create a peaceful and sustainable international trading environment. The focus of export controls is on safeguarding national security and interests as well as preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, chemical and other weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Effective export controls can reduce security threats, prevent the risk of conflict, relieve tension, and create a stable and predictable international trade environment.

Export controls will help maintain and improve corporate reputations and remove barriers to foreign trade. For businesses, the improvement of the export control structure will result in additional internal procedures and costs, but these minor burdens will be offset by greater convenience in trade and a better international reputation. It ensures long-term development and brings a large return with just a small investment.

Export controls are intended to strengthen international trust and improve the efficiency of international trade. Countries follow international customs, implement effective export control measures and strengthen coordination and cooperation, which in turn strengthens mutual trust in security, stabilizes mutual political expectations, improves the efficiency of goods circulation and achieves common prosperity and development goals.

Discriminatory practices will have a negative impact on international cooperation on export control.

In recent years, the United States has spearheaded a trend reversal in international export control. Instead of promoting economic and trade development, it promotes decoupling. Instead of stimulating economic globalization, it promotes anti-globalization. Instead of promoting a common future for mankind, she is involved in small circles of technology blockades.

Such a reversal of the trend stresses competition between the great powers in a distorted way, generalizes the concept of national security and disrupts the global supply chain. In the age of globalization, the relationships between great powers are usually very complicated, as disputes and interdependencies occur at the same time. Focusing on competition and fighting with a narrow minded mind, inventing all kinds of excuses, and viewing export control as a political tool to suppress the development of other countries seriously hinders international cooperation on export control. Under the colored glasses of widespread competition, the scope of export control is expanding and control measures are becoming more and more complicated. However, the trend has ignored the fact that economic security through trade development is the important foundation of international common security. It has also ignored that regulating and promoting trade in controlled goods in accordance with compliance requirements was the original intent of export control and that non-proliferation is the common security interest of international export control.

Photo: Xinhua

Photo: Xinhua

The reverse trend alienates large trading countries and aims to create technological barriers. Export control is an important area of ​​international security cooperation. UN Security Council Resolution 1540 calls on member states to strengthen the establishment of mechanisms for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to implement appropriate and effective export controls. Building on this, the international community has strengthened its export control cooperation and achieved remarkable results. Driven by the USA, however, more and more minilateral mechanisms have emerged. These are, in fact, examples of pseudo-multilateralism and only exclusive little cliques that could become tools for another round of the economic Cold War.

This trend reversal arbitrarily expands the control area and affects normal scientific and technological exchanges. Export controls must be constantly updated with technological advances, but should never be used as a pretext to block international scientific and technological exchanges. In recent years the United States and several other countries have shifted the focus of export control from weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to new and basic technologies. These countries have also combined export controls with policy instruments such as student visas, scientific and technological exchanges, and screening of foreign investments, creating an intricate network of technological blockades. This has endangered the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains, prevented developing countries from sharing the benefits of scientific and technological advances, and undermined the legitimate right of developing countries to sustainable development. This will not help build a future of common security and prosperity for humanity.

Fairness, adequacy and non-discrimination are the right approach to developing international export control.

Compliance with the principle of fairness means that export controls should comply with the basic principles of international law. Countries should seriously honor their respective international obligations and not arbitrarily sanction the institutions of other countries on the basis of their own national law and disrupt legitimate trade exchanges. You should not promote double standards of non-proliferation or use export controls as a weapon to suppress the normal development of other countries.

Compliance with the principle of reasonableness means that export controls should comprehensively protect the legitimate development rights of developing countries. Various international treaties restricting the development of weapons of mass destruction all establish the right of countries to peacefully use related objects and technologies without discrimination. In December, the 76th session of the UN General Assembly emphasized the inalienable right of all member states to international cooperation on materials, equipment and technology, and to technological exchange for peaceful purposes. The development and improvement of export controls should not impair these legitimate rights of developing countries, but should promote international scientific and technological cooperation for peaceful purposes.

Compliance with the principle of non-discrimination means that multilateral mechanisms related to export control should be more representative and open. In the international governance of export control, developing countries should have equal opportunities and the right to express their views. Some multilateral mechanisms should open the door for dialogue, exchange and cooperation to all countries that strictly pursue non-proliferation and other international obligations, and continuously improve the universality and effectiveness of international export control cooperation.

The author is the director of the Arms Control Studies Center, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. meinung@globaltimes.com.cn


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