China is the biggest arms supplier to Pakistan, Bangladesh & Myanmar

China is the biggest arms supplier to Pakistan, Bangladesh & Myanmar

SAM Report,
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Pakistani military personnel ride on tanks during the Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad. Photo: AFP

China is the fifth biggest arms supplier in the world and also supplies the most weapons to India’s neighbours, a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has shown.

Around 35% of China’s arms supplies went to Pakistan between 2013 and 2017, followed by 19% to Bangladesh. Dhaka procured 71% of its arms from China over the five-year period, and Myanmar 68%.

The five largest arms exporters in the world are the United States (which sells 35% of the world’s weapons), Russia (22%), France, Germany and China. Together, these five countries account for 74% of arms supplies around the world.

On the other hand, India was the largest importer of arms during the 2013-’17 period. Its largest arms supplier was Russia, from which it bought 62% of its weaponry. The United States and Israel were in second and third place. India also held 12% of the world’s total arms purchases from 2013 to 2017.

Pakistan’s arms imports fell by 36% from 2008-’12 to 2013-’17. The sale of US arms to Pakistan dropped by 76% in 2013-’17 compared to 2008-’12. This was “due to US perceptions that Pakistan was not fully committed to combating the Taliban,” the report said.

With the decline in US military aid, Pakistan’s arms imports from China rose from 45% of its total weapons imports in 2008-’12 to 70% in 2013-’17.

Weapons procurement by countries in West Asia increased by 103% during 2013-’17. As many as 31% of arms transfers to West Asia went to Saudi Arabia, 14% to Egypt and 13% to the United Arab Emirates, the study showed.

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