• By The Financial District

Asian Nations Amass Weapons As China Seeks Reg'l Control

Some Asian and Oceanian nations are ramping up weapons purchases as they become increasingly wary of China's growing regional ambition, a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showed Monday, Kyodo News reported.

Photo Insert: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force conducting drills. The country's arms imports increased by 2.5 times, making it the 10th-largest importer in the world.

The report compared weapons transactions worldwide for the five years through 2021 to the previous five years through 2016. It showed that out of the top 10 arms importers, six were from Asia and Oceania.

India was the top importer, accounting for 11 percent of the total, but imports into the region as a whole actually decreased by 4.7 percent, indicating a wide variance in purchases among sub-regions, the report noted.

Japan's imports increased by 2.5 times, making it the 10th-largest importer in the world, while Australia, China, South Korea, and Pakistan were also ranked in the top 10. Asia and Oceania, the world's largest arms importing region over the past 30 years, received 43 percent of global transfers from 2017 to 2021.

"Tensions between China and many states in Asia and Oceania are the main driver of arms imports in the region," the report quoted Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the institute's Arms Transfers Program, as saying. The total global arms trade, including imports and exports, fell 4.6 percent, the report said.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Exports to Ukraine, before its recent invasion by Russia, were "very limited" as the country's budget was tight and major exporters limited supply for fear of escalating the long-running conflict in eastern Ukraine, according to the institute.

As for exports, the United States remained the world's biggest weapons supplier, accounting for 39 percent of the total.

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

The country's exports rose 14 percent. Russia, the second-largest exporter, saw its trade fall 26 percent. The rise in US exports was mainly owing to increased transactions with Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, and Japan, according to the institute. US exports to Japan expanded 2.7 times.

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