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China replaces UK as world's fifth largest arms exporter: SIPRI

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STOCKHOLM (BNS): China has become the fifth largest exporter of major conventional arms worldwide, according to a new data on international arms transfers published on Monday by SIPRI.

This is the first time China has been in the top five arms exporters since the end of the cold war, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.

Overall, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons grew by 17 per cent between 2003-2007 and 2008-12, it said.

The five largest suppliers of major conventional weapons during the five-year period 2008-12 were the United States (30 per cent of global arms exports), Russia (26 per cent), Germany (7 per cent), France (6 per cent) and China (5 per cent).

This is the first time that the UK has not been in the top five since at least 1950, the earliest year covered by SIPRI data. China's displacement of the UK is the first change in the composition of the top five exporters in 20 years, it said.

According to the data, the volume of Chinese exports of major conventional weapons rose by 162 per cent between 2003-2007 and 2008-2012, and its share of the volume of international arms exports increased from 2 to 5 per cent.

"China's rise has been driven primarily by large-scale arms acquisitions by Pakistan," Dr Paul Holtom, Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme was quoted as saying.

"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."

In the period 2008 - 12 Asia and Oceania accounted for almost half (47 per cent) of global imports of major conventional weapons.

Among the top five importers of major conventional weapons worldwide - India stood at (12 per cent of global imports), China (6 per cent), Pakistan (5 per cent), South Korea (5 per cent), and Singapore (4 per cent), it added.

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