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China’s Arms Exports Double as Regional Tensions Grow

Picture: Wenhui lim

Chinese exports of major arms grew by 88 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with the SIPRI has said “China is actively pushing for exports. A lot of the exports are going to countries where China has had good relations for a long time, so there’s also a strategic incentive for China to supply weapons. Pakistan for example, Bangladesh, Myanmar,”.

Wezeman said territorial disputes and the growing modernization of China’s military may be spurring an arms race in Asia. China’s military budget was up 10 percent from the year before, to more than $141 billion.

Behind the U.S. and Russia China is the world’s third largest arms exporter and accounts for nearly six percent of arms exports between 2011 and 2015.

“You can see a general arms build-up in Asia. You can see countries reacting to what neighbors are doing, and a strong driver for this is Chinese military modernization, expanding Chinese capabilities, linked to a quite assertive Chinese policy,” he said.

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