Foreign think tank: China-made weaponry favored by African countries

Source: China Military OnlineEditor: Zhang Tao
2016-02-19 17:39

BEIJING, February 19 (ChinaMil) -- With the rise of China's comprehensive national strength, more and more products made in China begin to appear all over the world. Africa, as China's friendly and cooperative partner, has become an important destination for Chinese products. Among them, the Chinese weaponry with excellent quality and reasonable price are wining increasing trust and favor of African countries.

The renowned think tank "International Institute for Strategic Studies" published an article by Joseph Dempsey, whose responsibilities are research and analysis for the Military Balance within the Defense & Military Analysis Programme, on February 17, saying that "China’s continued inroads into the African defense market, based on observed military equipment now in African inventories. "

According to the article, "more than two-thirds of the countries on the continent operate equipment of Chinese origin, with at least ten new operators emerging within the last decade. In addition, the types of equipment now being imported are increasingly diverse and sophisticated."

The article believes that "this mirrors the advancements in China’s own domestic defense industry, which continues to narrow the technological gap with Russian and Western counterparts. A legacy of copying and subsequent improvement of obsolete Soviet-era systems, including the MiG-21 (PRC J-7) combat aircraft and T-54 (PRC Type-59) main battle tank, have given way to more modern and capable indigenous products."

The article argues that "China’s defense manufacturers are progressively outward-facing, with equipment now marketed, and potentially developed, purely for the export market. Though the People’s Liberation Army remains a principal customer and some advanced technology may be retained domestically, China has demonstrated a relative willingness to proliferate with less political restraint than competitors."

The article points out that "Chinese exports are also now filling a growing void in the African defense market once filled, in the post-Cold War era, by cheap surplus Soviet-era systems from the inventories of former Warsaw Pact states. With these stockpiles increasingly limited and obsolete, the accessibility and affordability of new Chinese equipment presents an attractive proposition when compared to second-hand alternatives or the products of Western defense companies. "

It is reported that "China is also capitalizing on an emerging regional requirement for patrol vessels, as maritime security and offshore resources become an increasing priority. Chinese shipyards have both the experience and capacity to meet these demands, with Chinese defense industry already identified as the top naval exporter to Africa."

The article argues that "China’s growing position in the African defense market reflects the broader growth of Beijing’s influence and investment on the continent. A significant proportion of imported Chinese equipment represents government-to-government agreements often enabled by Chinese loans or agreed as part of wider infrastructure investment packages."

The point of view reflected in the above article also proves China's tremendous progress in the weaponry level.The Western countries have always advocated free trade internationally, but why they are finding fault with China's normal arms exports to Africa?

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei once pointed out that the Chinese government has rigorously managed arms exports in accordance with domestic laws and regulations, on the premise of abiding by international law obligations including resolutions of the UN Security Council.

He said that China has and observed the following three principles: first, it should be conducive to the recipient country's proper self-defense ability; second, it does not impair regional and global peace, security and stability; third, it does not interfere in recipient country' s internal affairs. This fully shows that China’s attitude on arms exports is prudent and responsible. It is just that some Western powers are hyping up the issue with their double standards.

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