China has joined the short list of the top weapons-producing countries.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Chinese military hardware sales have eclipsed those of the United Kingdom, making China the fifth largest arms exporter in the world. China’s weapons sales have soared 162% since 2007, Bloomberg noted.
The United States continues to lead global military equipment sales, followed by Russia, Germany, France and now China. The latest list marks the first time in six decades that the United Kingdom didn’t make the top five. Global military hardware exports rose 17% over the past five years.
China’s rising profile in the worldwide arms industry is tied to its growing economic clout as one of the world’s manufacturing powerhouses. Military sales often lead to infrastructure improvement contracts, which boost non-defense sales for Chinese companies.