This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, February 19, 2018

China's Arms Exports in the Ascendancy 

"Take for example Somalia, the CPP [Chinese Communist Party] has an embassy there. They know which forces are the government's and which are the rebels, and do business with the bosses. When the bosses need something, the embassy finds out and reports the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which tells the Ministry of Defence, which in turn contacts the export companies."
"[The Chinese navy's] southern fleet can use this as a means of expanding its influence in the South China Sea [through its delivery function] as well as the Indo-Pacific oceans, and also because international waters are a convenient location for making the trade."
"This money [from weapons transactions] does not go to the [Chinese] military region's accounts, but will be stored by the export company CEO in, say, an account with HSBC [bank]. Only a few generals know where the money went."
Anonymous insider, general engineer in Chinese state-run defence corporation
The National Interest

The anonymous informer spoke of illegal weapons agreements taking place between Chinese suppliers and foreign rebel groups in a discreet collaboration between the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese arms manufacturers where corruption aids both in circumventing both sanctions imposed to prevent weapons reaching the hands of terrorists and the universal (in word of not deed) proscription against providing weaponry to regimes committing violent atrocities against their own populations.

In 2017, it appears the Chinese regime was instrumental in seeing that $300-million worth of weapons was transferred to police in the Philippines. Weapons that were used in the killing of thousands of Filipinos executed summarily, reflecting Philippine President Rodrigo's Duterte's 'war on drugs'. Venezuela too, has been supplied with anti-riot equipment to aid it in its campaign of suppression of dissenting Venezuelans in the country's economic, social and political meltdown into Bolivarian socialism.

And nor has the Chinese Communist Party abandoned its pouting, preening little North Korean tyrant, helpfully aiding its military with modernization moves in technological assistance with the North's ballistic missile program while officially China has acceded to pressure within the United Nations to cool its supportive relations with Pyongyang. Back in 1993 the government of Rwanda acquired machetes from China enabling it to arm a third of the male Hutu population followed the next year by 800,000 Tutsis being massacred in 100 days.

A report published by the Conflict Armament Research group based in the United Kingdom stated its findings "mirror broad trends in the global market for Warsaw Pact-calibre materiel. China predominates as a producer." Three years of research concluded that even as the United States, Russia and other countries engage in conflict with the ISIS terrorists, much of their arsenal originated in weapons facilities in China. Validation resided in 43 percent of arms captured from ISIS were of Chinese origin, another 1.8 percent of American origin, acquired mostly through conflict with U.S.-supplied weapons to Iraqi troops.
A VT5 lightweight main battle tank, built by China North Industries Corp (Norinco), is on display at Airshow China in Zhuhai, Guangdong province November 3, 2016
A VTS lightweight main battle tank produced by China North Industry Corp. displayed at Airshow China, Zhuhai, Guandong Province, November 3, 2016   Reuters

China has been busy manoeuvring for a larger share of the export market of weapons around the world. Chinese armament sales soared from 3.8 percent of the global total to 6.2 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, overtaking France as the third-largest weapons exporters, after the United States and Russia which still account, between them, for over half of the world's total weapons exports. The difference is largely that the U.S. and Russia supply their respective allies for the most part, and client states.

Beijing is prepared to do business with anyone willing and able to pay. Chinese armaments have traditionally been produced from Soviet or Russian designs, while of late Chinese weapons technological engineers have made great strides in perfecting their own brands, closing in on competing with Russian and Western equipment. Their armaments are still considered inferior to those of its Russian and American counterparts, and this salient fact accounts for its clients who, unable to afford those, gravitate to Chinese-manufactured arms.

China is on a growth spurt on any index, and as it expands its trade and communication, transportation, investment and influential presence around the world, its arms sales are growing in lock-step with its growing dominance influencing other nations through its One Belt One Road initiative. From 2012 to 2016, Chinese arms sales represented 6.2 percent of the global arms market, an increase of 74 percent compared to 2007  - 2011. Its arms exports outdistanced Germany, France and the U.K. to where it now stands, as the world's third largest arms exporter. This planned, long-term trend is one to watch.

China's 2015 market share, though well below that of the United States at 33 percent, represents a gradually closing gap with Russia's 23 percent. Chinese arms exports have had little trouble eclipsing those of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Next on the agenda: Russia, and then the United States. At which time it will be interesting, at the very least, in that classic Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times -- to see the kind of lethal devices of mass destruction being acquired by the world's most notoriously dangerous regimes and non-state militias of a terrorist stripe.

Will we then relish describing the Communist Party of China as the world's pre-eminent exemplar of immoral, profit- and influence-centric conquest?

Army officers and soldiers in action during a drill on January 3, 2017 in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China.
VCG | Getty Images
Army officers and soldiers in action during a drill on January 3, 2017 in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China.

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