China’s arms sales drop as ‘other nations buy American’



Minnie Chan | SCMP

China’s arms exports have dropped over the past five years, a decline that experts have attributed to tensions between China and the US prompting some of China’s neighbours to buy more American weapons, according to a new report.

Some military experts said the downturn was mainly caused by former US president Donald Trump’s attempt to expand American arms exports amid a growing perception of China as a threat in the region, while the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic also affected international trade in both exports and imports.

The US continued leading the arms export race with 37 per cent of market share for 2016-2020, a 15 per cent increase on 2011-2015, according to the report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia grabbed 20 per cent of market share but it had a 22 per cent drop because of strong competition from the United States in most regions.

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