China Emerges World’s Third-largest Arms Exporter

China has overtaken Germany as the world’s third-largest exporter of arms and cut its dependence on imports by producing more sophisticated weapons, statistics released on Monday by a Sweden-based research organisation says.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China surpassed Germany in the five-year period ended in 2009 and the five-year period ended in 2014. However, with five per cent of global export market currently valued at more than $300 billion a year, China’s share was far below that of the United States placed at 31 per

cent, or Russia, at 27 per cent.

State-owned defence suppliers, such as Norinco Group, have become outstanding at arms fairs, opening new markets beyond established customers in South Asia and Africa by, for instance, selling armed drones to Nigeria in its battle against Boko Haram rebels.

According to Sipri, the organization monitors arms sales over five-year blocks to smooth out jumps from year to year, China’s exports increased by 143 per cent in 2010 to 2014, compared with the previous five-year period.

Arms exports by the United States increased by 23 per cent over the previous five years while Russia’s increased by 37 per cent.

The report also reveals that after global arms sales fell over most of the 1980s and ’90s, they have increased in recent years, with the 2010 to 2014 volume being 16 per cent higher than that of the previous five years.

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