Monday, March 16, 2015

China Overtakes Germany as the World’s Third-Largest Arms Exporter

China has overtaken Germany as the world’s third-largest arms exporter and cut its dependence on imports by producing more-sophisticated weapons, according to a new report, says WSJ.

China’s arms exports rose 143% between the five-year period ended in 2009 and the five-year period ended in 2014, according to the annual report on weapons transfers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which is closely watched by policy makers and defense contractors.

China represents just 5% of a global export market valued at more than $300 billion a year. That’s far behind the 31% secured by the U.S. and 27% by Russia in the 2010-2014 period.

“The equipment you get nowadays from China is much better than 10-15 years ago,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at the institute. Customers who used to buy Western or Russian equipment can now turn to China and often secure weapons of similar quality at far lower costs, he said.

On the flip-side, Saudi Arabia has risen to be the second biggest importer of arms, trailing only India, and is likely to remain at that high level for some time, Wezeman said.


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