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Military vehicles carrying Wing Loong drones during a military parade, Beijing, China, Sept. 3, 2015 (Imaginechina via AP Images).

China Is Suddenly a Leading Exporter of Armed Drones

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016

With a regularity almost approaching that of the tides, there has recently been a frenzy of fevered pronouncements about China becoming a major arms exporter—and perhaps even giving serious competition to the traditionally front-running United States. Most of this is hype, but there is some truth to all the mania.

For the most part, China’s arms industry does not seriously threaten U.S. arms exports, at least not in terms of quantity. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China garnered only 5 percent of the total global arms market from 2010 to 2014—good enough to rank third among the world’s arms exporters, but still well behind the United States, with 31 percent of the global market, and Russia, with 27 percent. Moreover, the bulk of China’s recent weapons shipments—nearly 70 percent—went to just three countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. ...

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