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Global arms market hits post-Cold War high point

By Li Xiaokun, Zhou Wa  (China Daily)

10:25, August 09, 2012

Experts say increase due to rising security risks around the world

Despite the gloomy world economy, Chinese observers have cast their sights to a prosperous global arms market, which has hit the post-Cold War peak in 2012 according to a Russian report issued earlier this month.

The seemingly abnormal situation, driven by complex factors including turmoil in the Middle East and big appetites of international arms dealers, is likely to cast shadow over the already troublesome situation in East Asia, they said.

According to the report Russia's Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade issued in early August, global military equipment exports are to hit $69.84 billion this year, the highest level since the end of the Cold War.

It is a 3.84 percent increase on the $67.26 billion in 2011, which was already nearly 20 percent higher than the $56.22 billion in 2010.

Increases in 2010 and 2011 were a result of weapon deals that had been delayed by the financial crisis that started in 2008, said the report.

Li Qinggong, deputy secretary of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said the recent surge is due to rising security risks around the world, especially turmoil in West Asia and North Africa, and escalating terrorism threats.

"Many countries, not only the ones in West Asia and North Africa, now feel more threatened. The traditional risks are still there, and new ones keeping emerging," Li said.

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