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China’s arms exports soar: Swedish think tank

China has overtaken Britain to become the world's fifth largest arms exporter with 5 percent of the global trade, its highest position since the Cold War, a Swedish think tank said on Monday.

China's arms exports soar: Swedish think tank

It is the first time Britain has not figured in the top five weapons suppliers since 1950, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report.

China’s arms exports in 2008-2012 grew by 162 percent compared to the previous five years, with most of them – 55 percent – going to Pakistan.

“China’s rise has been driven primarily by large-scale arms acquisitions by Pakistan,” Paul Holtom, a research director at SIPRI said in a press release.

“A number of recent deals indicate that China is establishing itself as a significant arms supplier to a growing number of important recipient states.”

Pakistan has long been China’s key ally in South Asia. The report also named Myanmar, Bangladesh and Venezuela as importers of Chinese arms.

The global arms trade grew by 17 percent in 2008-2012 over the previous period, the report said, with the US and Russia still the main exporters, holding market shares of 30 percent and 26 percent respectively.

They were followed by Germany and France in the rankings.

European countries beset by economic troubles were attempting to re-sell recently acquired combat aircraft to cut costs, the report added, with Portugal and Spain looking for buyers for F-16 and Eurofighter aircraft respectively.

East Asian countries are seeking to boost their naval capabilities amid territorial disputes, the document said, adding that the top five importers of major conventional weapons worldwide were all Asian.

China has boosted its domestic weapons production since it faced bans on western military imports following the crushed Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Beijing does not release arms export figures.

AFP/The Local/og

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CHINA

Sweden’s Volvo Cars may merge with Chinese owner Geely

Sweden's Volvo Cars and its Chinese owner Geely announced on Monday that they are considering merging into a single group in order to share resources, but would preserve their separate brands.

Sweden's Volvo Cars may merge with Chinese owner Geely
File photo of a Volvo test-drive. Photo: Christine Olsson / TT

The merged firm “would have the scale, knowledge and resources to be a leader in the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry,” they said in a statement.

“The combination would preserve the distinct identity of each of the brands Volvo, Geely, Lynk & Co and Polestar,” they added.

Geely bought Volvo in 2010 from Ford which hadn't been able to turn around the Swedish automaker. But under the Chinese firm Volvo has rebounded and smashed its sales records.

Volvo sold more than 705,000 vehicles in 2019, besting the record it set in 2018 by 10 percent, and the automaker expects continued growth this year.

The statement said the firms would create a joint working group to prepare a proposal for the boards of both firms.

“A combined company would have access to the global capital market through Hong Kong and with the intention to subsequently list in Stockholm as well,” it added.

Volvo put off a share listing in 2018 due to tensions in global markets.

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