Conventional Arms Control in the Asia-Pacific Region:

The Case for a Supply-Side Regime Based on International Law


By Tamar Gabelnick

Director, Arms Sales Monitoring Project

Federation of American Scientists


Conference on Conventional Arms Rivalry in the Asia Pacific Region

Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies

Honolulu, Hawaii

October 25, 2001



Conventional arms control in the Asia-Pacific region is as desirable as it is elusive.  The region remains one of the largest arms markets in the world, as well as one of the most tense and conflict-ridden.[1]  There has been warfare of one sort or another since the end of World War II, and a great number of states – especially in Southeast Asia – still have territorial disputes.[2]  Arms sales to the region have created or intensified regional tensions and outright conflicts, paradoxically doing more at times to reduce stability in the region than enhance it.[3]  Imported weapons have also been used to destabilize governments, creating conflicts where both governments and rebels have ended up using weapons to commit grave human rights abuses and breaches of humanitarian law, damaging human security as much as political stability.  An arms control regime in the region could help prevent those arms sales that pose the greatest threat to regional security, as well as to the lives and welfare of civilians. 

To the extent that the Asia-Pacific region has considered controlling the trade in conventional arms, it has been largely from the demand side.  The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) has stressed confidence building measures such as transparency to reduce the security dilemma associated with arms purchases:  what one country buys for defensive purposes may look to others like an intention to build an offensive capacity.  By encouraging states to report to the UN Register of Conventional Arms and share long-term defense plans, the ARF is trying to help arms-buying states reduce tensions by being upfront about their military objectives.  If this system works, routine modernization plans would not be confused with inexplicable weapons-buildups, and the action-reaction arms purchase chain may not be set off.  A more ambitious demand-side program – such as placing limits on weapons purchases or even reducing current arsenals – is unlikely in the near future because of the lack of parity in regional arsenals, a perception of outside threats from major regional powers, ongoing internal conflicts, and a high level of mutual suspicion among Asian states.[4]

What is lacking in the arms control debate in the region is a recognition of the importance of supply-side restraint.  Exporting states not only make a conscious decision to provide arms, they often help market weapons, exert pressure on states to buy more than originally requested, or subsidize the sale with grants, guaranteed loans, or favorable offset packages.  In the ASEAN region, one analyst stated that early 1990s arms procurement decisions “have undoubtedly been influenced by a combination of supplier competition and pressure.”[5]  Asia-Pacific arms producers to states outside of the region – especially to war-torn states in Africa – have also had a negative impact on international peace and stability.[6]  States have a clear moral duty to consider the impact of the weapons they export on the level of conflict, human rights abuses, and economic development of recipient states.  But a new interpretation of international law also holds that arms exporting states have a legal responsibility for the use of the weapons they export.   

This paper will present an idea for a new treaty on the international arms trade that focuses on the responsibility of exporting states to abide by international law when assessing arms transfers.  It will look at how this idea could be applied to the Asia-Pacific region, both in terms of arms suppliers in the region as well as the purchasing states that might be affected by greater supply-side restraint.  It will also assess the shortfalls of a limited supplier regime for enhancing general security in the region – mainly in missing both the illicit trade of arms as well as sales that would remain legal under international law but still potentially destabilizing.  Finally, it will assess the prospects for gaining acceptance of the idea in a region that has not made much progress on arms control to date.


The Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers


            The idea for an international arms transfers regime stemmed from the proposal of a group of Nobel Peace Laureates for an international Code of Conduct on the arms trade.  In 1997, these 18 Nobel Laureates – led by Oscar Arias, former President of Costa Rica – put forward a comprehensive set of principles for governments to use when assessing arms export licenses.  While not denying the importance of the demand side of the arms trade, they also wanted manufacturing states to help reduce human rights abuses, international aggression, and inflated military spending by developing countries by adhering to a set of uniform export criteria.  Yet the Nobel Laureates’ Code of Conduct struggled to gain a hearing with exporting states because its suggested criteria were so broad and inflexible.  Non-governmental groups working with the Laureates on promoting the Code therefore decided to take the Code’s principles and reduce them to a bare minimum:  those instances where current principles of international law would prohibit the transfer of arms.  With the help of legal experts at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law in Cambridge, they turned these principles into a draft Framework Convention on International Arms Transfers.[7]  The goal is now to work with interested states on refining the text and gaining their endorsement of the concept.  The ultimate goal is to achieve a legally-binding convention, possibly in an Ottawa-style process.

            The Framework Convention (FC) is designed to put in one place all current international law – codified, customary,[8] and implicit – that should be governing the international trade in arms.  By adhering strictly to existing principles of law, it is much narrower than the Nobel Laureates’ Code of Conduct.  But it is also a progressive legal document that would develop the definition of legal versus illicit arms transfers.[9]  While states generally define “illicit sales” as those not authorized by sender or recipient governments, the Framework Convention holds that government-authorized sales in violation of international legal principles are also “illegal.”  As a framework convention, it also leaves open the possibility of attaching protocols that go beyond current legal principles but are nonetheless important for arms control, such as a mandatory transparency regime or restrictions on the operations of arms brokers.

The FC’s operative paragraphs cover both arms transfers prohibitions that are expressly articulated in international laws, as well as other restrictions that are derived from legal interpretations of current legal texts.  It has a section on other considerations that – because they cannot be interpreted as reflecting existing law – would only be recommendations to states, not legal obligations.  It will also have a section on verification and dispute settlement, though the details have not yet been finalized.

The express limitations set out in the FC are simply a restatement of states’ duties to honor clear obligations under international law.  These include United Nations Security Council decisions (e.g., binding arms embargoes under Chapter VII of the UN Charter) and international treaties to which states are Contracting Parties (e.g., the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and the Anti-Personnel Mines Convention).  The express rules would also bar the transfer of those groups of weapons considered “illegal” under humanitarian law (e.g., because of their inability to distinguish between civilians and combatants or they cause excessive injury).  Finally, this set of rules would ban the transfer of arms to parties in violation of other relevant customary law (e.g., arms sales to armed opposition groups that could be considered an unlawful act of intervention in another state’s internal affairs[10]).  These requirements are for the most part accepted – if not always adhered to – by major exporters.[11]  The reason for including these restrictions again in this regime is to make sure that the FC becomes the authoritative and comprehensive text governing arms exports.  Many observers of the international arms trade would probably agree that these principles – some of which are still violated – could stand to be reinforced in another text.

The second section of the draft convention focuses on other areas of law that can be interpreted to restrict states’ freedom to transfer arms.  As it seeks to develop and codify unstated principles of law, it is the more innovative and perhaps controversial section of the convention.  Whereas the first section of the FC sets out blanket prohibitions of the trade in certain categories of weapons or of all weapons sales to certain states or groups, this second section puts forward restrictions based on the anticipated use of the weapons.  According to international legal scholars, it is not only the abusers of weapons who are to blame when violations of human rights, humanitarian, or other law take place.[12]  As suggested above, arms exporting states may also share in the responsibility for the illegal action if it can be determined that they knowingly provided the equipment used for the breach of law. 

Article 16 of the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on State Responsibility states, “A State that aids or assists another State in the commission of an internationally wrongful act by the latter is internationally responsible for doing so,” as long as the state was aware of the “circumstances of the internationally wrongful act” and is also subject to the law in question.[13]  In other words, if a state transfers arms to another state or party that goes on to use the weapons in violation of international law, the exporting state would be considered to have “secondary responsibility” for that act as long it was aware that the crimes were likely to take place and is also a party to the violated convention(s).  This principle is even more clearly established for violations of the Geneva Conventions, where common Article 1 requires states to “respect and ensure respect” for international humanitarian law (IHL).  In the legal interpretation underpinning the FC, “ensure respect” for IHL means not providing the weapons that would be used to violate IHL. 

The draft convention specifically states that governments shall not authorize arms transfers where there “exists a reasonable risk” that they would be used to threaten or breach the peace or intervene in another state’s internal affairs (covered by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, the General Assembly’s 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States, and the UN Disarmament Commission’s Guidelines for International Arms Transfers[14]); commit serious violations of human rights (as governed by the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as regional texts and issue-specific conventions such as the 1984 Convention against Torture); commit serious violations of international humanitarian law; commit acts of genocide or crimes against humanity (previous two provisions governed by the 1949 Geneva Conventions; IHL principles are also set out in the 1998 Statute of the International Criminal Court); or be diverted and used to commit any such acts.

Unlike the first set of criteria, there are two subjective elements involved with rules based on the use of weapons:  assessing the “reasonable risk” of misuse, and determining what constitutes grave violations of the laws mentioned.  At a minimum, states could base decisions on future risk of weapons abuse upon recent history with similar arms.  The European Union Code of Conduct sets a precedent for this language, calling on states not to transfer arms where there is a “clear risk” that they would be used for internal repression, international aggression, or other international crimes.  Assessing the actual violations may be more difficult, but there is often a degree of international consensus over which states or parties have committed grave abuses of international human rights or humanitarian law.  The FC is intended first and foremost to cover extreme situations, not borderline cases.

Finally, the Framework Convention calls on states to “avoid authorizing” arms transfers where they would be used to commit violent crimes; adversely affect political stability, regional security or sustainable development; or be diverted for these acts.  These provisions indicate that other factors should be taken into consideration before authorizing sales.  But there is currently no basis in international law for prohibiting these transfers, so they are only firm suggestions. 


Application of the Framework Convention to the Asia-Pacific Region


            In assessing the application of the draft Framework Convention to the Asia-Pacific region, one needs to examine both which groups or states would likely fail to qualify for imports, as well as which countries’ exports would currently be in violation of the FC’s provisions.  Again, if one accepts the reasoning behind the FC, such transfers should already be considered violations of international law, even where there is nothing yet explicitly proscribing the sales in existing conventions.  The following paragraphs will present a quick analysis of the imports to and exports from the region, highlighting possible instances where arms sales would need to be cut off under this regime.  This paper does not pretend to offer conclusive judgments, since this would ultimately be left to states and the international community to decide.  But it will give a sense of the scope of the Convention, what problems it seeks to address, and what remains to be treated in other fora.




The clearest proscription of international arms transfers – under the FC and elsewhere – is a violation of UN arms embargoes.  The only active UN arms embargo in the region is against the Taliban-controlled area of Afghanistan.[15]  Obviously sales to that regime would remain outlawed under the Framework Convention.  It is less clear whether arms sales to the Northern Alliance forces fighting the Taliban would constitute unlawful interference in that country since the United Nations and all but two states do not accept the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.  Sales to other rebel groups in the region, on the other hand, would most likely be seen as violating norms of non-interference and non-use of force, and therefore would violate the FC.  Additionally, most of those insurgent groups, especially in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, are also guilty of severe violations of human rights and humanitarian law and would therefore be doubly disqualified from receiving arms under the FC.[16] 

According to independent research organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the governments fighting these insurgencies are also guilty of serious violations of human rights and IHL.[17]  Both government and insurgent forces in these countries have been found to use indiscriminate force, purposely target civilians, engage in extrajudicial killings, or arm and train paramilitary forces to carry out these crimes.  Other governmental responses to these insurgencies – such as arbitrary arrests, torture, mistreatment of internally displaced persons, failure to prosecute security forces for human rights violations, and media censorship – have also been documented in those states.  The government of Burma is especially notorious for its severe repression of civil liberties, in the name of fighting democratic opposition and armed opponents alike.[18]  China and Cambodia are also regularly accused of grave human rights violations.

Arms sales that severely degrade relations between two states or are used in a threat or use of military force in violation of the UN Charter would also be forbidden under this agreement.  Arguably, this might include transfers to North Korea that would destabilize the situation with South Korea or sales to Burma for use in a military assault on Thai territory.  The ambiguous status of Taiwan makes it difficult to assess the application of international law, but China has argued that sophisticated arms sales to Taipei constitute a threat to the peace and an incursion into its internal affairs.[19]

Application of the Framework Convention for these latter sets of cases will depend on the weapons in question since states would only be required to refrain from sales where there is a reasonable risk that the arms to be transferred would be used to violate international law.  Thus, naval patrol boats intended for use against illicit drug trafficking could still be sent to a state using land forces in a manner that breaches humanitarian law.  Naval or air equipment used to transports forces that have been known to commit serious human rights abuses, or that could be used to threaten or breach the peace, would, however, be covered by the FC’s provisions.[20]




            Based on publicly available information, it does not appear that any states in the region are violating most of their explicit legal commitments such as UN arms embargoes, the Anti-Personnel Landmine Treaty, or the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.[21]  The primary exception may be Pakistan, which was accused this year by Human Rights Watch of providing arms to the Taliban in violation of the UN embargo.[22]  Some states may also be guilty of transferring arms to non-state actors without authorization of the recipient state.  For example, North Korea may be sending arms to insurgents in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and Indonesian forces have even been accused of providing rebels in Aceh with small arms.[23]  Black market arms routes through Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma that feed local insurgencies may also have tacit or even active support of government forces in those countries.[24] 

There are more instances of possible violations of the Framework Convention’s limitations based on the use of the weapons.  Russia provides sophisticated weaponry to China, which has on occasion threatened to use force against Taiwan and is accused of severe human rights violations internally.  Russian exports of MiG-29 fighter jets to Burma at a time of cross-border military skirmishes with Thailand may also help Rangoon breach international peace.  China, Singapore and possibly North Korea and Pakistan also export small arms and other weapons to Burma that may be used in human rights abuses.[25]  The United States has in the past been a major supplier of Indonesia and may renew arms sales to Jakarta again soon despite continued human rights violations there.  It also arms Sri Lanka and the Philippines, both of which have human rights problems related to fighting insurgencies.  Russian, Chinese, and now American weapons transferred to India and Pakistan may also be used in acts of aggression against each other.  China, Singapore, Russia, the United States and possibly other producers have also sold weapons to states outside the region – including war-torn states in Africa – in possible violation of international legal norms.  If the situation were to degenerate further in the South China Sea, arms sales to battling parties could also be seen as aiding a threat to the peace and therefore might be prohibited by the Framework Convention.  Again, in these latter instances, application of the FC would depend on whether the weapons to be transferred were at risk for use in violation of international law, as well as the degree of the abuses or threats to the peace.




            Not all concerns about the link between arms sales and regional insecurity will be addressed by this system.  There are many instances in which arms acquisitions by one state may appear threatening to another, but cannot be classified as a threat to international peace under the UN Charter, or will not necessarily be used to violate other international norms.  Regional security – not to mention limited budgets – are also harmed by action-reaction arms purchases among regional rivals, even if they do not violate international law.  To name only one example among many, experts believe that Singapore’s purchase of 12 F-16s in 1997 prompted Thailand to purchase 18 used F-16s once its financial crisis eased in 2000.  Thailand’s purchase in turn spurned Burma to buy 12 MiG-29 fighters from Russia. [26]  Any eventual supply-side regime will therefore have to be supplemented by confidence-building measures, such as information-sharing on procurement and other defense plans.  While regional governments should be encouraged to participate in global transparency instruments such as the UN Register of Conventional Arms, regional methods of information sharing – such as those being discussed in the ASEAN Regional Forum – should also be encouraged.

            Another area not necessarily covered by an international law-based supply-side regime is the illicit arms trade.  Arms trafficking, mainly in small arms and light weapons, is a problem of particular importance in Southeast Asia, where the weapons are used to feed the trade in humans and illicit drugs, equip organized crime rings, and continue violent internal conflicts.  The illicit small arms trade undermines the development of non-black market economic sectors, deters foreign investment, and damages fragile democracies by encouraging government corruption or arming disruptive forces.[27]   As noted above, some “illicit” sales – namely those authorized by governments but prohibited under international law – would fall under the Framework Convention’s scope.  But black market sales completely outside the authority of government agents will need to be addressed in other ways. 

            The UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, held in July 2001, suggested a wide range of actions that governments in the region could take to limit the black market trade.  The Conference Program of Action recommended that states enact strong import and export controls, criminalize unauthorized sales – including those made by arms brokers – and prosecute violators, shore up border controls, reduce and protect vulnerable arms stockpiles, and improve information sharing between governments on traffickers and their routes.  The Program of Action also encouraged governments to take action at the regional level, including increased cooperation among customs and law enforcement agencies and even the negotiation of legally-binding agreements aimed at preventing the illicit arms trade.  The ARF should play an active role in establishing regional goals for implementation of the Program of Action and in facilitating the regional communication and cooperation activities suggested at the conference. 

            It should be noted that the Program of Action also recognized the importance of controlling government-authorized sales, calling on states to “assess applications for export authorizations according to strict national regulations and procedures that … are consistent with States’ existing responsibilities under relevant international law.”[28]  This language sets an important precedent for the Framework Convention by acknowledging that states already have legal obligations to consider when assessing arms exports.  UN Undersecretary-General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala has also noted that arms exporting states need to take responsibility for small arms exports that spill over into the black market, stating, “The supply of such weapons has to be arrested if we are to make any impact on current conflicts and on terrorist groups, criminal gangs and drug cartels.”[29]




            The notion that states should adhere to their existing commitments under international law when selling arms should not be considered radical or extremely controversial.  But obviously it will be a long, difficult road before the Framework Convention gains widespread acceptance.  Support for the FC will be especially difficult in the Asia-Pacific region where arms control of any type is looked on with heavy skepticism.  Additionally, most arms producers in the region (except for the United States and Australia) have few restrictions on exports because they are more interested in increasing exports for economic gain than they are with reducing arms proliferation for political or strategic purposes.  Governments that are wary of international law may be especially reluctant to accept the FC because it would involve progressive development of the law through codification of legal principles. 

            There are two responses to this initially pessimistic prognosis for an arms-supply control regime in the region.  First, an argument can be made that initially skeptical states could come to see this type of regime as serving their own interests.  Governments would gain a tool with which to fight against arms sales to rebels in their territory or to neighboring states that actively threaten to use military force.  Establishing principles of restraint in arms sales could have a positive long-term impact on the region as aggressive states and insurgents find it more and more difficult to purchase arms.  States in the region might also come to recognize the importance of preventing arms sales to states that routinely use them to violate international human rights since those tactics often inflame rather than resolve internal conflicts.  All parties in the region have an interest in reducing even internal conflicts given the risks of spillover (insurgents in one state could give shelter to, train, or merely incite activities by rebels in other states), the creation of bases for criminal activities, and risks to foreign nationals in those states.  In addition, arms exporting states in the region could bolster their international image by demonstrating that their exports were in line with common international standards.  Establishing a responsible export record will be especially important for states like Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea that seek to boost their export capacity through technology transfers from western countries. 

            Second, agreement to the FC by a small group of exporting states would help improve security in the Asia-Pacific region, even if the exporters were primarily made up of states outside the area.  It is much more likely that the United States and Western European countries could agree on common export criteria given a closer alignment of their values and political interests.  These countries have understood that a multilateral set of export standards will enhance their image within the international community and will prevent undercutting of their own denied sales.  The European Union already agreed in 1998 to a Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers based in part on risks of misuse by recipient states.  The U.S. government is obliged under the International Code of Conduct Act of 1999 to negotiate an international agreement on export criteria based on the promotion of human rights, democracy, and regional stability.  The United States and EU have already begun discussions on common norms for arms exports in connection with this law. [30]  In addition, Canadian and Swedish government officials have already given tentative support for the FC principles.  While it will be important to eventually gain the support of importing states and smaller producers, winning acceptance by the states that produce the vast majority of weapons on the international market will be a critical first step.  And the only way states like Russia and China would ever consider accepting such a plan will be if they see the other major arms exporters go first.  Meanwhile, the countries that do accept these minimum export criteria can help reduce the amount of weapons that feed conflict, crime, and abuse in the Asia-Pacific region.

            In sum, states considering this idea should understand that it does not impinge on their inherent right to arm themselves for self-defense.  A supply-side arms control regime based on current principles of international law is proposed as a bare minimum solution to a recognized problem:  the association of arms with threats to or breaches of international peace and security and with violations of human rights and humanitarian law.  It will not be possible to stop all troublesome arms sales – given the contribution of the illicit trade to this problem and the probable unwillingness of some major exporters to join such a regime – but it will be a crucial beginning.  States must begin to see their own interests in cutting back on destabilizing arms transfers.  And they must understand that by providing the tools with which international crimes occur, they will ultimately share in the responsibility for these acts. 


[1] Asia has consistently ranked as the second largest arms market in the developing world according to Richard F. Grimmett, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1993-2000,” CRS Report to Congress, August 16, 2001, p. 35.

[2] Bilveer Singh, The Challenge of Conventional Arms Proliferation in Southeast Asia (Jakarta: Centre for Strategic and International Studies), 1995, p. 4 and p.21. 

[3]  For example, U.S. sales of advanced weaponry to Taiwan and talks of building a theater missile defense in cooperation with Japan have pushed China to buy more arms while doing little to improve relations between those parties.  Chinese weapons acquisitions, combined with military activities in the South China Sea, were a key factor in driving ASEAN states to shore up their force projection capabilities in the 1990s. Amitav Acharya, An Arms Race in Post-Cold War Southeast Asia?  Prospects for Control, (Singapore:  Regional Strategic Studies Programme, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies), 1994, p. 34. and Singh, p.55.

[4]  Singh, p. 103 and Acharya, p. 41.  See also, Bonnie D. Jenkins, “Prospects for a Conventional Arms Reduction Treaty and Confidence-Building Measures in Northeast Asia,” INSS Occasional Paper 34, Arms Control Series, USAF Institute for National Security Studies, Colorado, August 2000 and “Asia-Pacific Security in a Time of Economic Recovery,” Report from the Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Center, August 30 – September 2, 1999.

[5] Acharya, p. 38.

[6] Jeffrey A. Larsen and Thomas D. Miller, ed., “Introduction,” Arms Control in the Asia-Pacific Region, (Colorado Springs:  USAF Institute for National Security Studies, US Air Force Academy), 1999, p. 5.

[7]  See for the text of the draft convention.

[8]  Customary international law is a body of generally-accepted norms and state practices that have the weight of law but have not yet been explicitly set out in an international convention.

[9] See Emanuela Gillard, “What is Legal? What is Illegal? Limitations on Transfers of Conventional Arms under International Law,” Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law, Cambridge, November 2000. (

[10] For example, in Nicaragua v. United States, the International Court of Justice ruled that U.S. arms transfers and other military support for the Contras was a violation under customary law of the prohibition against intervention in another state’s internal affairs.   It also ruled that the military aid could not be justified under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which accords states the right to individual and collective self-defense.

[11]  The primary exception being the United States government’s insistence on the right to arm non-state actors, as expressed during the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms in July 2001.

[12] Gillard, p. 3.

[13]  The International Law Commission was tasked by the United Nations to promote progressive development and codification of international law.  The Draft Articles, adopted by the drafting committee in 2000, represent the consensus opinion of this group of legal experts.

[14]  Report of the Disarmament Commission, Guidelines for International Arms Transfers in the Context of General Assembly Resolution 46/36 of 6 December 1991,” UN Doc. A/51/42, May 22, 1996, Annex I, para. 6 states that “Arms-producing or supplier states have a responsibility to seek to ensure that the quantity and level of sophistication of their arms exports do not contribute to instability and conflict in their regions or in other countries or regions.”

[15]  UN Security Council Resolution 1333, 19 December 2000

[16]  For information on human rights abuses by the Free Aceh Movement in Indonesia, see Human Rights Watch, “The War in Aceh,” Vol. 13, No. 4 (C), August 2001.  Information on the indiscriminate use of force by the LTTE in Sri Lanka is available in Amnesty International, Annual Report 2001(Sri Lanka), 2001. In the Philippines, Amnesty International’s Annual Report 2001, Philippines accuses the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of breaches of international humanitarian law including “bombing civilian targets, deliberate and arbitrary killings of civilians and hostage-taking.”

[17]  Ibid. See also Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001 (Indonesia), December 2000, pp. 201-205 and Paul Harris, “No Solution in Sight in Anarchic Aceh,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, May 2001, p. 29

[18]  Human Rights Watch, World Report 2001 (Burma), December 2000, p. 172.

[19]  Most recently, China called the United States’ possible sale of 40 Maverick missiles to Taiwan “a gross interference in China's internal affairs.” “China opposes US sale of Maverick missiles to Taiwan,” English People Daily, September 7, 2001.

[20]  Naval build-up by India in the early 1990s was interpreted by some states in Southeast Asia as inherently threatening, and may have prompted Thailand to launch an extensive naval modernization program.  Acharya, p. 34.  The possible sale of U.S. Aegis destroyers to Taiwan, if it had gone through, might also have been considered threatening enough to constitute a threat to the peace in the Taiwan Straits. 

[21]  For information on Asia-Pacific states’ compliance with the Landmine Treaty and Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, see Human Rights Watch, Landmine Monitor Report 2001, September 2001 (

[22]  Kathy Gannon, “Human Rights Group says Pakistan is Defying U.N. Sanctions, Pakistan Denies It,” Associated Press, July 13, 2001.

[23]  Peter Chalk, “Light Arms Trading in SE Asia,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, March 2001, pp. 44-45. Time to disarm arms traffickers,” Bangkok Post, August 28, 2001 notes possible involvement of corrupt Thai officers in smuggling of arms to rebels in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.  See Harris, p. 29 for a report on Indonesian military sales of arms to the Free Aceh Movement.

[24]  Chalk, pp. 42-45.

[25]  Joshua Kurlantzick, “Nations increase military spending;  Analysts fear new regional arms race,” Washington Times, 10/16/00;  Hankook Ilbo, “NK, Myanmar Explore Military Cooperation,” Korea Times, July 4, 2001; and Singh, p. 37.

[26]  Roger Mitton, “The arms deals: Myanmar and Thailand go shopping.”  Asiaweek, August 10, 2001, p. 9.

[27]  Chalk, p. 42.

[28]  UN Document A/CONF.192/15, Section II, paragraph 11.

[29]  J. Peter Scoblic, “Illuminating Global Interests:  The UN and Arms Control,” Arms Control Today, Sep/Oct. 1999.


[30]  See “U.S.-EU Declaration on Responsibility of States and Transparency Regarding Arms Transfers,” issued at the U.S.-EU Summit, December 18, 2000, Washington, DC (