BEIJING, Feb. 23 (ChinaMil) -- The BBC reported on February 22, 2016, that China's arms imports in the 5-year period 2011–2015 fell 25 percent compared with the previous five year period, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The figures signal China’s growing confidence in its domestically produced weapons.
On the contrary, Chinese exports of major arms, which excludes most light weaponry, grew by 88 percent between 2011 and 2015 compared with the previous five years. But China, as the world's third largest arms exporter, still accounted for only 5.9 percent of global arms exports. Currently, China sits far behind the U.S. and Russia, which are the world's two largest arms exporters.
"The Chinese, until ten years ago, were only able to offer low tech equipment. That has changed", according to Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program. He said that "the equipment that they produce is much more highly advanced than ten years ago, and attracts interest from some of the bigger markets."
"China supplied major arms to 37 states in 2011-2015, but the majority of these exports were to states in Asia and Oceania...Pakistan was the main recipient of Chinese exports, accounting for 35 percent, followed by Bangladesh and Myanmar", according to the SIPRI
The SIPRI said that the U.S. and Russia saw weapons exports grow by 27 percent and a huge 28 percent respectively. The U.S. has benefited from the increase of demand for weapons in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. But exports of major arms by France and Germany, the fourth and fifth largest weapons exporters, fell over the same period.
The four biggest importers in 2011-15 were India, Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE, according to the SIPRI.