Stockholm: Global arms deliveries fell 8% in 2007, but there is little evidence of a long-term decline in the weapons sector, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday. The year-on-year fall in weapons transfers, which excludes small arms sales, comes after six years of continuous growth.
“It is too early to say whether we are seeing the start of a new declining trend in arms transfers or just a blip,” said Sipri researcher Mark Bromley.
Chinese arms imports from Russia fell 62%, Sipri said. The cause was a surge of purchases around the turn of the century, meaning less need for replacement weapons now, but also more domestic manufacture. “2007 finally shows that imports to China are slowing,” said Paul Holtom, researcher at Sipri, an independent international research body specializing on issues such as arms control. Russian concern over transferring technology, which could then be copied and used to move in on Russia’s share of other markets, could also be a factor, Holtom added.
China was the biggest importer of weapons in the period between 2003 and 2007, Sipri said, accounting for 12% of the total. It was followed by India, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and South Korea.