The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute just announced that China was the third largest arms dealer in the world behind the United States and Germany. They passed France and Germany over the period between 2010-2014. Over this period, the Chinese arms market increased by 143 percent. They still only have 5% of the world market, trailing the United States’ 31% and Russia’s 27%.
Over the past decade the global arms market has increased after a significant lull after the Cold War and China is looking to increase their market share. However, many countries do not prefer to own Chinese weapons systems. They primarily sell small arms, and do not have the capabilities yet to make an exceptional larger weapons system. Because of this China typically sells to smaller countries who can not afford to buy anything better. These countries are typically in Southeast Asia. Unless Chinese technology greatly increases, they will continue to struggle to gain a foothold in larger arms deals.