China has emerged as the World's number three arms seller, behind US and Russia according a recent SIPRI study.
China has overtaken Germany and France. Only two years ago, China had entered the big league of arms exporters leaving UK behind and taking up fifth position.
The US still stands first with over 30 percent of global exports of weaponry and Russia is a close second with 27 percent. China is slightly ahead of Germany and France with about five percent each, the report said.
More than two third of China’s exports were for three of its neighbors, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Pakistan is the major importer with over 41 percent of Chinese exports. Apart from these three, Beijing also has 18 clients from Africa.
Among the top suppliers, China's sales were 143 per cent the figure from the previous five years. Ukraine and Russia also saw surges in exports, while German and French exports declined.
The volume of the multi-billion dollar world arms trade rose 16 per cent during the period 2010 to 2014 over the previous five years, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute added in its annual report.
The data reflects the volume of arms deliveries, not the financial value of the deals, SIPRI notes.
According to SIPRI, India was far ahead of second and third placed Saudi Arabia and China, purchasing some 15 per cent of the total volume compared with five per cent each for the next two. African arms imports shot up 45 per cent in the period.
“Algeria was the largest arms importer in Africa, followed by Morocco, whose arms imports increased 11-fold,” it said.
“Cameroon and Nigeria received arms from several states in order to fulfil their urgent demand for weapons to fight against the militant Islamist group Boko Haram,” SIPRI added.
While the arms trade has been on the rise for the past decade, the volume remains about one-third below its post-war peak reached in the early 1980s.