China cements its place as Pakistan’s largest supplier of major arms: Report

China cements its place as Pakistan’s largest supplier of major arms: Report

Between 2017 and 2021, Beijing met 72% of Islamabad’s demand for major arms

China, between 2017 and 2021, has cemented its place as Pakistan’s largest supplier of major arms, including fighter aircraft, warships, submarines and missiles, data compiled by an independent institute focusing on arms transfers and conflict said.

Between 2017 and 2021, Beijing met 72% of Islamabad’s demand for major arms, data from Sweden’s Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published in March showed.

Conversely, 47% of all the major arms exported by China went to Pakistan during that period, SIPRI said.

Though several of the deals are labelled “co-production” or “joint programme” - implying significant Pakistani research and design (R&D) input - in reality, in most cases, the R&D is mainly or all Chinese even for specific Pakistani requirements, according to SIPRI’s analysis.

Top arms deals between the two countries include the continued supply (as licensed production in Pakistan) of the JF-17 combat aircraft - with the delivery of the “much improved” Block-3 version to start this year - SIPRI’s report Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2021, said.

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“Delivery of the first batch of J-10 combat aircraft started earlier this year, which was the first export of this aircraft by China. It is more advanced than the JF-17,” Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with SIPRI’s arms transfers programme, said.

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