With China expecting a surge in demand for Chinese arms and ammunition from several countries including Middle-Eastern and African countries as the Russia-Ukraine war has entered into fourth month, a study indicates a fall in Chinese defence contracts due to lack in transparency and less sophisticated parts vis-a-vis Western technologies in manufacturing weapons.
A RAND Corporation (US-based thinktank) study in 2021 clearly pointed to a lacuna in Chinese defence contracts, stating there is a lack of transparency and accountability.
According to the experts, a lot of countries have little or no faith in Chinese companies because of poor after-sales support and equipment that rapidly declines into non-functional machinery.
China also does not have the required ability to manufacture highly sophisticated parts as it is still not considered a first-rate developer and producer of state-of-the-art military material, reported the Russian Council.
Meanwhile, Bejing's assertive policy in terms of arms sales and presence around the world should raise some cautionary eyebrows. China is not only increasing its arms sales, but also military training and investment in Africa's infrastructure projects, which are giving Beijing a foothold on the continent.
Moreover, a new analysis by Jane's, a company known for its publications on global weapons, a sharp increase is witnessed over the past two decades in Chinese military equipment sales to Africa, compared with the continent's traditional benefactor, Russia.
Pakistan, Bangladesh and Thailand are other China's clients for arms and ammunition. China has also sold 36 J-10C fighters to Pakistan and delivered HQ-22 (FK-3) surface-to-air missiles (SAM) to Serbia.
Countries like Tanzania, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Gabon, Algeria, Namibia, Ghana and Ethiopia are among the top importers of Chinese arms.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)'s recent report, nearly half of Chinese weapon exports - 47 per cent, in fact - went to its closest ally Pakistan, while Beijing's next largest clients were Bangladesh and Thailand at 16 pc and 5 pc respectively, as per the media portal.
Given the relative strength of China's position on the arms export table, it is perhaps surprising that China also appeared fifth on the international list of arms importers, behind India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Australia.