Monday, August 29, 2005

Grabbing the Low-Hanging Fruit - China Ratifies Anti-Tobacco Treaty

The BBC is reporting that China has ratified the World Health Organization's Framework Convention onTobacco Control. This make China the 78th party to the FCTC according to the WHO website (contrary to the BBC's report).

This treaty is an easy treaty to ratify for most countries, because it doesn't really require them to do anything that they don't want. In this case, all it requires China to do is crack down on tobacco advertising, something it was doing anyway. Expect speedy ratification by all signatories, even the famously recalcitrant U.S. Memo to the U.S. Senate: Ratify this treaty with as much fanfare as possible. It is a quick and cheap way to score some international good will without having to actually change domestic laws or national behavior.

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