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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

China drone market flourishes as US bans own sales: Report

Iran Press TV

Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:31AM

Countries facing a ban on the purchases of drones from the United States are flocking to the Chinese market to meet their demands, a report says.

A recent report by The Wall Street Journal said that several Middle Eastern and African countries subjected to a US self-imposed ban on the delivery of powerful American military drones were alternatively placing their orders with China.

The American paper said China was filling the void left by the US restrictions on the American market to sell drones to countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and North Korea.

'A strategic and commercial blow to the US'

"The US has long refused to sell the most powerful US-made drones to most countries, fearing they might fall into hostile hands, be used to suppress civil unrest or, in the Mideast, erode Israel's military dominance," the report claimed.

"Several countries in the Mideast and Africa have deployed weapons in conflicts after buying from Beijing – at lower cost," the Journal said. "For the US, that is a strategic and commercial blow."

Last month, the US Department of Defense said in a report that China had the capability to produce nearly 42,000 drones up until 2023, with a market value of more than 10 billion dollars.

China recently began the commercial production of its most powerful drone, the Caihong-5 Rainbow, with a maximum range of 10,000 kilometers and flight time duration of 60 hours.

The Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be used for reconnaissance, surveillance, patrol, target positioning, and strike missions. It is also capable of civilian operations such as resource surveying, disaster survey, or emergency responses.

The US has been conducting drone strikes in different parts of the world in operations that it claims to be targeted against terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda. Local officials and witnesses say, however, that civilians are the victims of those attacks in many cases.

US President Donald Trump recently gave the CIA new authority to launch drone strikes across the world.

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