Calling China the second-largest arms seller is an overestimation and reinforces the “false assertion” of the so-called “China threat,” a Chinese military commentator said questioning a latest arms sales report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The December 6 report compiling sales data of 25 largest global arms companies for which data isavailable totaled US$361 billion last year, an 8.5 percent increase over 2018.
Oft quoted Chinese military expert, Song Zhongping, said Chinese companies’ arms sales not only fall substantially behind that of the top-ranking US companies, but also behind western European counterparts in terms of revenue.
US companies by far dominate global arms sales, with twelve of them accounting for 61 percent of the combined arms sales of the top 25 arms companies that were reviewed. Six West European companies together accounted for 18 percent, and two Russian companies totaled revenue of US$13.9 billion, a report in Chinese Military’s website, Chinamil.com said.
In comparison, the combined revenue of the four Chinese companies in the top 25 accounted for 16 percent,
According to Song, “the second-ranking arms seller should probably still be Russia.” More than half of Russian military enterprises have not been included in SIPRI’s statistics, said Vasily Kashin, a military expert at the Higher School of Economics, Russia’s National Research University, in Moscow, when interviewed by Izvestia on the December 7.
According to SPIRI’s report, the US and Europe’s military product sales soared in 2019. China had a mild increase while Russia saw a decline. The revenue of Chinese military enterprises didn’t grow as fast as the world in general (8.5 percent), and the four Chinese companies registered a total income growth of 4.8 percent last year.