China has overtaken Germany to become the world’s third-biggest arms exporterMd Noman Siddique (Author) Published Date : Mar 16, 2015 10:31 IST
Exports of major arms from China grew 143 percent over the years 2010 to 2014, versus the previous five-year period, when China had ranked ninth globally, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report.
Asian countries continue to expand their military capabilities, with an emphasis on maritime assets, Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program, said in a news release.
Analysts say Chinese-made equipment has found eager buyers among countries at odds with the United States and its allies.
Responding to the study, Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China took a cautious approach to arms exports and abided by relevant U.N. resolutions and domestic laws.
We follow principles of helping the receiving country with its reasonable self-defense capabilities, not damaging global and regional peace and stability, and not interfering in the receiving country's internal politics, Lei told a regular briefing.
The top 3 largest exporters of major weapons in the world are - US (31%), Russia (27%), followed by China at 5%.
China supplies weapons to 35 countries, led by Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, SIPRI said with Pakistan buying 41 per cent of the total.
The SIPRI report also shows that China had 18 African nations as clients during the five year period. It further showed a 16% increase in the volume of arms transferred around the world.
Meanwhile, Germany's arms exports fell by 43%, while France's dropped 27% in the same time frame.
China's comparative advantages include its low prices, easy financing and friendliness toward authoritarian governments, said Philip Saunders, director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the U.S. National Defense University.
Generally speaking, China offers medium quality weapons systems at affordable prices, a combination attractive to cash-strapped militaries in South Asia, Africa and Latin America, Saunders said.
''The USA has long seen arms exports as a major foreign policy and security tool, but in recent years exports are increasingly needed to help the US arms industry maintain production levels at a time of decreasing US military expenditure'', said Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program.
China has overtaken Germany to become the world’s third-biggest arms exporter