In a news report, it was revealed that the opaque Chinese arms industry has made China the second-largest weapons producer. It is quite a shift from a decade ago when China depended on arms import.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, the weapon production of China that was earlier shrouded in mystery due to lack of transparency has developed as three of the top 10 arms companies in the world are Chinese.
Co-author of the report Nan Tian said, “We can with confidence say that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the US and ahead of Russia.”
However, the report has noted that the lack of transparency remains an “important caveat” when studying the Chinese arms market.
Almost $70-$80 billion worth of Chinese munitions sold annually are purchased by various branches of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Still, this is quite a big shift for China as over the last 10 years China was a huge importer of weapons from Russia and Ukraine.
Tian said, “They no longer need to rely on other countries for their weapons. Chinese arms companies are also much more specialized than their international counterparts.”
The largest arms company in Pakistan, the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) produces aircraft and avionics. While most of the large non-Chinese producers cover a wide range of military products.
Earlier, the SIPRI researchers struggled to find reliable data on the Chinese arms industry size as the producers are all state-owned entities.
Tian said, “Everything is locked under the term national security.”