Beijing: International arms exports from China have been declining. Analysts say restrictions on China’s imports by four of the world’s leading arms importers are the main reason. These countries include India, Australia, South Korea and Vietnam. Vietnam recently signed a defence cooperation agreement with Japan to counter China.
A report on arms exports by the European study group SIPRI claimed that exports to Russia and China had declined. After that, an article in the defence magazine, The National Interest, published in the United States, mentions China’s declining arms exports. Analyst Michael Peck writes that China’s aggressive policy in Asia is the main reason for the decline in arms exports.
‘China’s arms exports are now limited. Aggressive foreign policy in Asia has hurt China’s exports. Many of the world’s top 10 arms importers no longer import from China. Peck said that India, Australia, South Korea, and Vietnam have banned importing arms and defence equipment from China for political reasons. At the same time, Peck claimed that China has taken the lead in global drone exports. As per the information for 2018, China sold more than 150 drones to 13 countries.
According to the SIPRI study group, China is one of the top five arms exporters. But compared to the five years from 2011 to 2015, China’s arms exports have declined between 2016 and 2020. During the period, China’s exports fell by 7.8 per cent. This is due to the large defence agreements reached by the US and Europe with countries in Asia. Leading importers of Chinese arms include Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria.
Over the past few years, China has intensified its hegemonic activities in the Indo-Pacific region, including the South China Sea. The ambition is to gain complete control of the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Southeast Asian nations have begun buying large arms by prioritising Japan, Korea, India, the United States and European countries to counter these Chinese actions.