In just within five years, China's outbound shipments of arms weapons zoomed 162 per cent, outstripping Britain to become the world's fifth top exporter of weapons and ammunition.
According to a report released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), China's contribution to the exports of arms weapons trade exports jumped to 5 per cent from 2 per cent during the five year period 2008-2012, thus enabling its ranks to accelerate to now 5th overall from the previous 8th of 2004-2008.
The rise further confirms China's growing presence in the military and economic international scene.
"China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states," Paul Holtom, director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, said in a statement.
"This is a tale of China's rise," he added, noting China is moving beyond developing countries to sell its developed military equipment, particularly to North Africa.
During the 2008-2012 period, Pakistan was listed as China's dominant buyer, procuring the Asian nation's developed military equipment shipments by 55 per cent. It was seconded by Myanmar at 8 per cent and Bangladesh at 7 per cent, SIPRI said.
"China's rise has been driven primarily by large-scale arms acquisitions by Pakistan," Mr Holtom said.
Although makers from the US and Europe still dominate the arms production race, China's inventions are very much in shape to compete with the former two regions.
"We can see that all over the world, Chinese arms are now more in demand than they have been in the past," Pieter Wezeman, SIPRI's Arms Transfers Program senior researcher, said.
As a result of its own increased production, China arms imports in 2008-2012 dropped by 47 per cent versus the previous five-year period.
"If you go to an arms fair nowadays, it is very likely that you will see a significant number of Chinese companies present," Mr. Wezeman said, noting the February arms fair in Abu Dhabi recently where the Chinese pavilion was one of the biggest.
A decades-old institution, SIPRI is recognized as a global authority on collecting information about national and corporate arms sales world-wide.
The top 5 arms exporters in 2008-2012, according to SIPRI:
1. United States (30 per cent)
2. Russia (26 per cent)
3. Germany (7 per cent)
4. France (6 per cent)
5. China (5 per cent)
The top 5 arms importers in 2008-2012:
1. India (12 per cent)
2. China (6 per cent)
3. Pakistan (5 per cent)
4. South Korea (5 per cent)
5. Singapore (4 per cent)
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: