China is world’s second-biggest arms producer, says think tank
Previously, a lack of transparency made it difficult to estimate the value of Chinese companies’ arms sales, said leading conflict and armaments think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
China is the world's second-biggest arms producer, behind the US and ahead of Russia, a leading conflict and armaments think-tank has said.
In the past, due to a lack of transparency the value of Chinese companies’ arms sales was either unknown or difficult to reliably estimate. For this reason, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Top 100 -- an annual ranking of the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies -- was not able to include Chinese arms companies.
But according to SIPRI, it has now identified credible information from 2015–17 on the value of arms sales by four major Chinese arms companies.
All four of the profiled Chinese companies in new SIPRI report 'Estimating the Arms Sales of Chinese Companies' would be ranked among the 20 largest arms-producing and military services companies globally in 2017.— SIPRI (@SIPRIorg) January 27, 2020
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New research from SIPRI suggests that #China???????? is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the #UnitedStates???????? but ahead of #Russia????????.— SIPRI (@SIPRIorg) January 27, 2020
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"With the increase of available data on these companies, it is now possible to develop reasonably reliable estimates of the scale of the Chinese arms industry," the institute said.
The four companies had combined estimated arms sales of $54.1 billion for 2017, it said, which would put them among the top 20 arms producers in the world.
Three of the companies would be ranked in the top 10, according to the institute.
Total US arms sales in 2017 were $226.6 billion, and in Russia, $37.7 billion, according to the think tank's Top 100 list for that year.
Aircraft and avionics group Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) would rank as the sixth largest arms producer, with estimated 2017 sales of $20.1, while land systems-focused China North Industries Group Corporation (NORINCO) would place eighth with an estimated $17.2 billion in sales, the institute said.
The other two companies it looked at -- China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) and China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC) -- had estimated sales of $12.2 billion and $4.6 billion, respectively, a spokesperson for the institute said.
The Sweden-based think tank has said global expenditure in 2018 hit $1.8 trillion, its highest level since the end of the Cold War, fuelled by increased spending in the US and China.
The US arms sales that year were $246 billion, Russia's were $36.2 billion and the UK had $35.1 billion in sales, it said.