The international trade volume of major weapons has grown continuously over the past decade, rising by 14 percent between the five-year periods 2006-10 and 2011-15, said a February 22 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Driving the ever-increasing demand have been mainly Asian and Oceanian countries. India tops the list, accounting for 14 percent of global arms imports, followed by China (4.7 percent), Australia (3.6 percent), Pakistan (3.3 percent), Vietnam (2.9 percent) and South Korea (2.6 percent). This means that as tensions mount in the Asia Pacific, these countries are pouring vast amounts of resources into modernizing their militaries. “China continues to expand its military capabilities with imported and domestically-produced weapons,” said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program. “Neighboring states such as India, Japan and Vietnam are also significantly strengthening their armed forces.” Vietnam, for instance, jumped from being the 43rd largest importer in 2006-10 to the eighth largest in 2011-15, increasing weapons imports by a staggering 699 percent. The report also says Russia accounted for 93 percent of the deliveries to the Southeast Asian nation, which included eight combat aircraft, four fast attack craft and four submarines armed with land-attack… Read full this story
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