Small arms = big bucks for China

Jocelyn Ford Jun 12, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Today, China announced it racked up a record monthly trade surplus of $13 billion. That’s up from $9 billion a year ago. But that country isn’t just selling toys and clothes to other nations. It’s also a major arms exporter, and that has Amnesty International worried. Jocelyn Ford says the watchdog organization issued a report on Sunday.

JOCELYN FORD: Amnesty International says China is becoming a top exporter of small arms and equipment like leg irons and stun guns, and it’s supplying repressive governments western countries won’t sell to.

The human rights group says it’s concerned because China has exported hundreds of military trucks to Sudan and Myanmar.

But Defense analyst Robert Karniol says, it’s hard to put the brakes on something like that

ROBERT KARNIOL: The likelihood of introducing an international regime to control the move trucks and truck parts is basically zero.

He says those same trucks could be used for delivering aid.Amnesty estimates china exported over $1 billion worth of weapons, putting it among the world’s top 10 exporters.

Beijing has not joined international agreements seeking to ban sales to governments known for human rights abuses like torture.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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