Customers consider Chinese weapons to be of lower quality: Pentagon

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China’s arms sales operate primarily through state-run export organisations such as the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and North Industries Corporation (NORINCO)…reports Asian Lite News

Potential customers consider arms made by China to be of lower quality and reliability and some countries buy them as they are less expensive, the Pentagon said in its recent report.

Many developing countries buy China’s weaponry because they are less expensive than other comparable systems. Although some potential customers consider arms made by Beijing to be of lower quality and reliability, according to Pentagon’s 2021 Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China.

China’s arms sales operate primarily through state-run export organisations such as the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), the report stated.

Arms transfers also are a component of China’s foreign policy, used in conjunction with other types of assistance to complement foreign policy initiatives undertaken as part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

Beijing sells major systems such as UAVs, submarines, and fighter aircraft to customers like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Pakistan. The PRC has supplied its strike-capable Caihong or Wing Loong

families of armed Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to at least Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Algeria, Serbia, and Kazakhstan, the Pentagon said.

Beijing also supplies naval vessels, highlighted by Pakistan’s purchase of eight Yuan-class submarines for more than USD 3 billion, according to the report.

Expansion of nukes

A new Pentagon report has revealed that China is rapidly expanding the number of its nuclear delivery platforms and constructing the infrastructure necessary to support its nuclear expansion over the next decade.

A report titled “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) 2021”, said that “the accelerating pace of the PRC’s nuclear expansion may enable the PRC to have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. The PRC likely intends to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030, exceeding the pace and size the DoD projected in 2020.”

China is investing in, and expanding, the number of its land-, sea-, and air-based nuclear delivery platforms and constructing the infrastructure necessary to support this major expansion of its nuclear forces, according to Pentagon.

The report added that China is also supporting this expansion by increasing its capacity to produce and separate plutonium by constructing fast breeder reactors and reprocessing facilities.

China has possibly already established a nascent “nuclear triad” with the development of a nuclear capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) and improvement of its ground and sea-based nuclear capabilities, it added.

New developments in 2020 further suggest that China intends to increase the peacetime readiness of its nuclear forces by moving to a launch-on-warning (LOW) posture with an expanded silo-based force, the report added.

The report comes amid increasing tensions between the US and China over the issue of Taiwan. This report came hours after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley issued a stark warning about China’s military progress, CNN reported.

Echoing General Milley’s sentiment, a senior US defence official briefing reporters on the report adopted a similar stance.

“The nuclear expansion that the (People’s Republic of China) is undertaking is certainly very concerning to us,” the official said. “It’s one thing to observe what they’re doing, but they haven’t really explained why they’re doing it.” (ANI)

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