China has emerged as the fifth-largest arms exporter in the world Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said today. It added this was its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.
SIPRI said, the country's volume of weapons exports between 2008 and 2012 increased 162 per cent as against the previous five-year period, with its share of the global arms trade rising from 2 per cent to 5 per cent.
China has thus replaced the UK in the top five arms-dealing countries between 2008 and 2012, a group dominated by the US and Russia, which accounted for 30 per cent and 26 per cent of weapons exports, SIPRI said.
According to Holtom, Chinese interests went beyond selling weapons. He added, for some companies involved in the import-export businesses, arms deals were not the major money maker, but facilitated access to the more lucrative deals for infrastructure projects.
"China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states," Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, said in a statement.
According to the SIPRI's Trends in International Arms Transfers report, this was the first time China had emerged among the top-five arms exporters since the think tank's 1986-1990 data period.