China's arms exports don't violate rules: Expert

Updated: 2015-03-19 10:28

By Liu Qiang(

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China's arms exports don't violate rules: Expert

China Central Television (CCTV) aired a footage showing Chinese military's drills with its newly-developed FD-2000 air defense missle system. [Photo/CCTV] 

Some countries have created an uproar over China's arms trade following the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's report on global arms sales because they have ulterior motives. The report, published on March 16 and based on the data from 2010 to May 2014, says China has surpassed Germany and France to become the world's third-largest weapons exporter; it is behind only the United States and Russia. The report also says China has witnessed the fastest growth in weapons' exports.

In view of its international influence and data credibility, the SIPR report has offered a reason to some to create a fuss over China while turning a blind eye to some basic facts.

Anyone without prejudice can see that China's arms sales, although third-largest in the world, are trivial compared with the top two arms-exporting countries.

According to the SIPRI report, China only accounts for 5 percent of world's arms exports compared with 31 percent by the US and 27 percent by Russia. The question is: Why have some people chosen to single out China while ignoring the US and Russia that account for much larger arms exports? Is it because China has no right to export weapons or is it because it has violated international regulations on arms sales?

The SIPRI report seems to have given some people a new stick to beat China with, especially following the recent detention in Colombia of a vessel suspected to be carrying weapons from China. The fact is, the Colombia incident is an isolated case that should not become an excuse for verbal attacks against China.

As a special commodity, arms and their sales have long been subjected to international rules and regulations. There is not much restriction on normal transaction of light and defensive weapons, though. In fact, there is no ban on the trade of offensive or aggressive weapons, excluding those of mass destruction, although there are regulations for it.

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