Asia and Oceania received 41% of major arms transfers in 2018-22. This is a slightly lower share than in 2013-2017 and is part of an overall decline in the global level of international arms transfers, a drop of more than 5%.
But the general decline should not mislead us, since the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), which yesterday issued a detailed analysis of the global arms market, already pointed out to us at the end of last year with the argument that the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, with the consequent slowdown In logistics, it would have brought the market record down by a few points.
in this area However, six states of the world are among the top ten importers globally in 2018-22: India, Australia, China, South Korea, Pakistan and Japan. Seen from Bangkok, these figures shed light on a scene – that of the Indo-Pacific – where the numbers give a dimension to the sensitivity of the eastern quarter, where, among other things, there is an ongoing war in Myanmar, a market that is difficult to investigate because it is so tightly hidden on Although the parades are with tanks, planes and armored vehicles of a Russian or Chinese brand.
A black hole is hardly included in the Sipri data also because this conflict is still obscured by that of Europa. Europe, which increased its share of purchases by 47% in the eight years from 2013 to 2018.
Sibri explains that “imports of important arms by European countries have increased (European members of NATO increased their imports by 65%) while the global level of international arms transfers decreased by 5.1%. Overall arms imports decreased – according to Stockholm data – in Africa (-40 %), the Americas (-21%), Asia and Oceania (-7.5%), and the Middle East (-8.8%) ».
But, as we have seen, the main players in this part of the world (China, India, Australia and Japan) continue to arm themselves. They’re in good company: The United States’ share of global arms exports increased from 33 to 40 percent while Russia’s share fell from 22 to 16 percent.
As for ChinaBeijing recently announced a 7.2% increase in its defense budget, an element whose effects we will find in the 2024 Sipri data: for the eighth year in a row, the proportion of military spending increases in the second largest military budget on the planet. .
While US arms exports increased by 14% between 2013-2017 and 2018-22 and the US accounted for 40% of global arms exports in 2018-22, Russian exports instead decreased by 31% between 2013-2017 and 2018-22 while its share was . of global arms exports shrank six percentage points.
Peter Weismann, researcher at SIPRI Arms said yesterday in Stockholm: “Although arms transfers to Europe have decreased, they have increased dramatically due to tensions between Russia and most other European countries. Countries want to import more weapons faster. Strategic competition continues in places Others too: Arms imports to East Asia increased and those to the Middle East remained at a high level.
According to SIPRI The Ukraine war is likely to further limit Moscow’s arms exports “because Russia will prioritize the supply of its armed forces and demand from other countries will remain low due to trade sanctions against Russia and increasing pressure from the United States and its allies not to buy Russian weapons.”
As for Ukraine, after military assistance from the United States and Europe after its invasion on February 24, Kiev became the third largest importer of major weapons last year (after Qatar and India). Is it Italy?
Of the seven largest arms exporters after the USA, Russia and France, five registered declines in exports while two countries brought home strong increases: Italy (+45%) and South Korea (+74%).
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