Chinese Arms Transfers: Purposes, Patterns, and Prospects in the New World Order

By R. Bates Gill | Go to book overview

and where they were placed abroad. But the article took on a decidedly anti-Soviet tone, a reflection of PRC-Soviet relations at the end of the 1970s. Within the article, illustrated tables indicated Soviet superiority over the United States both in the numbers of ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and submarine-launched missiles and in the annual production of conventional weapons. The article also noted:

Facts have repeatedly borne out that it was conventional arms, not nuclear arms that the Soviet Union used when it threatened the Middle East with force, stirred up armed conflicts on the Indian subcontinent, instigated mercenaries to invade Angola and Zaire and when it started the fires of war in the Horn of Africa. 77

Yet, while denouncing the ends of the superpowers (and increasingly, those of the Soviet Union in particular) and eyeing those ends suspiciously, if not enviously, the PRC nonetheless became all the more compelled to take on the very methods they criticized. By the end of the 1970s, the PRC began a much more concerted effort to join the ranks of powers exercising greater influence through arms transfers.


NOTES
1
Works on the Chinese arms trade and industry before 1949 include Thomas L. Kennedy , The Arms of Kiangnan: Modernization in the Chinese Ordnance Industry, 1860-1895 ( Boulder: Westview Press, 1978) and Anthony B. Chan, Arming the Chinese: The Western Armaments Trade in Warlord China, 1920-1928 ( Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1982).
2
China (along with North Korea) is reported to have supplied Iran with up to 70 percent of its arms in the 1980s. Richard F. Grimmett, Trends in Conventional Arms Transfers to the Third World by Major Supplier, 1976-1986 ( Washingtonx, D.C.: Congressional Research Service), 27. Chinese arms agreements with both Iran and Iraq in the period 1980 to 1987 amounted to over US$8 billion, or 74 percent of China's arms sales over those years. Eden Y. Woon, "Chinese Arms Sales and U.S.-China Military Relations", Asian Survey ( June 1989), 604.
3
"U. S. Ranked No. I in Weapons Sales", New York Times ( 11 August 1991), citing Richard F. Grimmett, Trends in Conventional Arms Transfers to the Third World by Major Supplier ( Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 1991).
4
Andrew J. Pierre, The Global Politics of Arms Sales ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), 3 (emphasis deleted).
5
Anne Gilks and Gerald Segal, China and the Arms Trade ( New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985), 51.
6
Gilks and Segal, China and the Arms Trade, 33-34.
7
Gilks and Segal, China and the Arms Trade, 35.
8
Gilks and Segal, China and the Arms Trade, 34-35.
9
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Arms Trade Registers: The Arms Trade with the Third World

-73-

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