China makes big inroads into African defence market
China is making increasing inroads into the African defence market with up to two-thirds of militaries on the continent now using its equipment. According to data in the latest annual edition of The Military Balance, produced by the London based International Institute of Security Studies (IISS), and a report this week from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a rapid rise in Chinese military transfers to the continent has been underway since 2005. The value of Chinese defence transfers to Africa rose by over 63 percent in real terms from the total of the years 2006-2010 to 2011-2015, according to data released earlier this week by SIPRI. Recent Chinese defence exports to Africa include naval vessels, combat aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). China’s share of the defence imports of sub-Saharan countries almost doubled from 12.1 percent of total transfers to the region in 2006-2010 to 22.3 percent in 2011-2015, according to SIPRI. Data on China’s share of arms exports to the continent as a whole (North and Sub-Saharan Africa) grew from 9.1 percent over the 2006-2010 period to 12.5 percent in 2011-2015. For North Africa, China’s share slightly dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.8 percent from the second half of last decade to the first half of this decade.