x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

China now a top-five arms exporter

China has become the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, a Sweden-based think tank says, its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.

BEIJING // China has become the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, a Sweden-based think tank said yesterday, its highest ranking since the Cold War, with Pakistan the main recipient.

China's volume of weapons exports between 2008 and 2012 rose 162 per cent compared with the previous five-year period, with its share of the global arms trade rising from 2 per cent to 5 per cent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said.

China replaces Britain in the top five arms-dealing countries between 2008 and 2012, a group dominated by the United States and Russia, which accounted for 30 per cent and 26 per cent of weapons exports, Sipri said.

"China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states," Paul Holtom, the director of the Sipri Arms Transfers Programme, said.

The shift, outlined in Sipri's Trends in International Arms Transfers report, marks China's first time as a top-five arms exporter since the think tank's 1986-1990 data period.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, said China was a responsible arms exporter that strictly adhered to international law.

Germany and France ranked third and fourth on the arms exporter list. China followed only India in the acquisition of arms.