China's arms exports slowing down after massive surge in last few years, says report

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A team of Chinese military flying drones. (Photo Credit - Reuters)
A team of Chinese military flying drones. (Photo Credit - Reuters)

Beijing [China], September 9 (ANI): China's arms exports are slowing after a massive surge over the last few years. After nearly tripling between 2004 and 2013, they increased by only 2.7 per cent over 2014 to 2018.

Michael Peck, writing in The National Interest said that China's more aggressive foreign policy in Asia has hampered its arms exports.

"China's arms exports are limited by the fact that many countries--including 4 of the top 10 arms importers in 2014-18 (India, Australia, South Korea and Vietnam)--will not procure Chinese arms for political reasons," reported the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which compiles estimates of global military strength and arms spending.

Though China's arms exports are slowing, the country has successfully exported domestic drone models to developing countries over the past decade.

As per Peck, China is the biggest exporter of combat drones."In 2014-18 China became the largest exporter in the niche market of unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), with states in the Middle East among the main recipients," reported SIPRI.

"China has become the primary exporter of UCAVs. Whereas China exported 10 UCAVs to 2 countries in 2009-13, in 2014-18 it exported 153 to 13 countries--5 of which are in the Middle East: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In contrast, the United States delivered three UCAVs in 2009-13 and five in 2014-18. In both periods all the deliveries were to the United Kingdom. Iran delivered 10 UCAVs to Syria in 2014-18, while the UAE delivered 2 to Algeria."

This explains why the US Army, which has been lackadaisical about air defence for years, is now suddenly interested, reported The National Interest.

For years, drone warfare has been an essentially American pursuit. The new age of armed robots has been symbolized by Predators and Reapers spewing Hellfire missiles. (ANI)

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