China Expanding Market Share in Global Arms Sales

Conventional arms sales across the globe have expanded 14 percent in the last five years, according to a newly released report by the Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Although Europe has slowed its buying, India and Pakistan in South Asia and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East have stepped up their weapons buying, states the report. The United States, which has led among exporters from 2009-2013, joined Russia, Germany, China, and France as the top five exporters. Aircraft made up 61 percent of the US’ weapons exports from 2009-2013, including 252 combat aircraft, as well as sales of missile defense components and systems to allies such as Germany, Japan, and the UAE. While China has generated headlines with its expansive military modernization, it came in second place in terms of weapons imports from 2009-2013 (India took the top spot). In addition, China has expanded its arms exports by 212 percent since 2004. Three-quarters of its arms sales went to just three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. “China’s rapidly developing military technology partly explains its expansion,” the report states, as it competes with Russia and the US in places such as North Africa and Southeast Asia.