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African arms accusations unfair as US still dominates global market

By Han Xudong (Global Times)

08:07, September 04, 2012

The Washington Post published an article titled "China's arms exports flooding sub-Saharan Africa" recently. It stated that China's arms exports have sharply increased over the past decade, flooding sub-Saharan Africa with cheap rifles and ammunition.

It also said that Chinese weapons have flowed into areas subject to UN sanctions like Somalia, which has intensified local conflicts, and that "China has stood apart from other major arms exporters, including Russia, for its assertive challenge to UN authority, routinely refusing to cooperate with UN arms experts."

Such accusations are groundless and irresponsible.

China does participate in the international arms trade, and especially in this century, its arms exports volume has increased. But that doesn't mean it deserves groundless accusations from Western countries, especially the US.

China's arms exports have been based on three principles: helping build the defense of the importing countries, not threatening regional and world peace, security and stability, and not interfering in importing countries' domestic affairs.

Meanwhile, China has strictly complied with relevant UN resolutions in exporting weapons. Its arms exports are legal and responsible.

Besides, the weapons China exports are mainly light and conventional weapons. They are mainly exported to countries and regions within the limits of the UN resolutions.

China has only a rather small share in the global arms market. According to the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) in 2011, China's arms trade only made up 3 percent of the global total volume in 2003-10, while the latest report by CRS for the US Congress pointed out that the US has taken a 78 percent share of the global weapon trade, a record high. This shows that China's arms exports are limited.

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