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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Spotlight: No need to make a fuss about China's arms exports

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 17:18, March 18, 2015

BEIJING, March 18 -- Following the United States and Russia, the world's two largest arms exporter, with a big margin, China has been ranked third by a Stockholm-based research institute.

The data, collected by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) from 2010 to 2014 and released on Monday, showed that the United States has taken a firm lead as the world's No. one arms exporter, accounting for 31 percent of the world volume, followed by Russia with 27 percent.

China was put on the third place by the SIPRI, taking up merely 5 percent of the global volume of arms exports. Germany and France took the fourth and fifth places with 5 percent respectively. The three countries could easily exchange places in one year or another, as their figures were too close.

Hong Lei, a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry, responded to the report on Monday, saying that the rankings in this field change every year, and opinions from various institutions differ from each other.

Still, the calculation method adopted by the SIPRI is still worth discussing, as it has more or less exaggerated the figures of China and Russia while deflating that of the United States, according to experts.

The institute said on its website that the data reflects the volume of deliveries of arms, not the financial value of the deals.

The indicators overestimated the index of those countries exporting cheaper weapons, such as China and Russia, while underestimating that of United States, which exports more expensive weapons with the similar type, a Russia expert said.

Some experts say that the purpose of the SIPRI's pushing up of China's ranking is to serve the West's 'China threat theory' , impose pressure on China and impede normal military cooperation between China and other countries.

But some westerners have chose to turn a blind eye to the fact that the United States exports much more arms than any other countries, and should be held accountable more than anyone for imposing threat to international security.

Ian Easton, researcher at the Project 2049 Institute, a U.S. think-tank on Asia security, said that China has become the third largest arms exporter is 'disturbing situation development', claiming this would threaten the security of U.S. and its allies.

With the growth of the economic strength and the advancement in technology development, it is reasonable and natural that China's arms exports have been growing.

But the country follows its principles in arms exports, and will never cast threat to any other countries through arms sales.

'China takes a prudent and responsible attitude and conducts strict management in accordance with domestic laws and regulations while complying with the UN Security Council resolutions and other international obligations,' Hong said.

China follows the principle of contributing to the recipient country's capability of justified self-defense, not undermining international and regional peace and stability, and not interfering in the domestic affairs of the recipient country, Hong said.

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