March 18, 2013 10:10:07 AM
STOCKHOLM -- China has bypassed Britain as the world's fifth largest arms exporter, a Swedish think tank said Monday.
The volume of Chinese weapons exports rose by 162 percent in the five years 2008-2012, compared to the previous five-year period, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its report. That means China's share of all international arms exports increased to 5 percent from 2 percent, and the country climbed to fifth from eighth in the rankings.
The largest buyer of Chinese weapons was Pakistan, which accounted for 55 percent of the country's exports, followed by Myanmar with 8 percent and Bangladesh with 7 percent, SIPRI said.
"China's rise has been driven primarily by large-scale arms acquisitions by Pakistan," said Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. "However, a number of recent deals indicate that China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states."
Such deals include the sale of three frigates to Algeria, eight transport aircraft to Venezuela and 54 tanks to Morocco, SIPRI said.