China exports more arms, shifting away from dependence on imports

Zhang Tao

By CGTN's Han Bin

Over the past five years, China has become less dependent on arms imports, and is in fact boosting its own exports, mainly to Asia and Africa.

China’s major arms exports include: multiple rocket launching systems, armed fighting vehicles, combat drones, precision-guided munitions, small and midsize warships, submarines, air-defense systems and light fighter jets.

"One competitive edge is the ability to provide a whole package of services, that improve the self-sufficiency and capabilities of the recipients,” said Yin Xiaoyang, researcher from China Poly Defense Research Center.

A large number of weapons models are hot sellers on the global arms market, he said.

Yin Xiaoyang makes models of weaponry from major countries. /CGTN Photo
A recent study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says the global arms trade has risen to its highest level since the end of the Cold War, due to rising conflicts in certain areas. China’s military said it takes a prudent and responsible approach to arms sales.
Chinese military products on the global market. /CGTN Photo

China is becoming more self-sufficient for its own military needs, and now delivers major weapons to foreign armies. Increased capabilities have driven steady growth of its military contracts on several fronts.

Yin said China is not competing with leading arms sellers like the US and Russia. And China’s military development will not rely on arms sales, as its own military has huge procurement requirements.

With China's economic growth, its military modernization will speed up. And reliance on arms imports will drop, as its own industry develops.

But as a natural consequence, China is seeing its arms sales expand.


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