Although China accounted for 61 per cent of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2011-15 and for 74pc in 2016-20, the country’s arms imports decreased by 23pc, according to the latest report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).The report, ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers 2020’ says Pakistan remained the main recipient of Chinese arms and accounted for 38pc of Chinese arms exports in 2016-20.
Pakistan has several large outstanding orders for arms which are scheduled for delivery by 2028. They include 50 combat aircraft, eight submarines and four frigates from China, and four frigates from Turkey.
The report by the independent international institute says arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania decreased by 8.3pc between 2011-15 and 2016-20. Of the largest importers in 2016-20, five are in Asia and Oceania: India, Australia, China, South Korea and Pakistan.
The United States accounted for 29pc of the arms imports by states in the region, Russia for 27pc and China for 9.4pc.
On the other hand, arms imports by India between 2011-15 and 2016-20, decreased by 33pc. Russia was the largest arms supplier to India in both 2011-15 and 2016-20. However, Russia’s deliveries dropped by 53pc between the two periods and its share of total Indian arms imports fell from 70 to 49pc.
In 2011-15, the United States was the second largest arms supplier to India, but in 2016-20 New Delhi’s arms imports from the United States were 46pc lower than in the previous five-year period, making the US the fourth largest supplier to India in 2016-20.France and Israel were the second and third largest arms suppliers to India in 2016-20. India’s arms imports from France increased by 709pc while those from Israel rose by 82pc.
Combat aircraft and associated missiles made up more than 50pc of the Indian arms imports in 2016-20.
The report says that the overall drop in India’s arms imports between 2011-15 and 2016–20 seems to be mainly due to its complex and lengthy procurement processes, combined with its attempts to reduce its dependence on Russian arms by diversifying its network of arms suppliers.
As India perceives increasing threats from Pakistan and China and as its ambitious plans to produce its own major arms have been significantly delayed, it is planning large-scale programmes for arms imports.