STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 16 (UPI) -- China is now the world's third-largest arms exporter but still trails far behind weapon manufacturers in the United States and Russia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, announced Monday.
Germany, previously third in place, lost its position to China from 2010 to 2014 as China sold weapons to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. These three countries alone imported more than two-thirds of China's weapons, The New York Times reported.
But China's five percent share of the global weapons trade is relatively small, compared to that of the United States at 31 percent and Russia, at 27 percent, according to the Swedish research.
Global sales of weapons were slowing in the 1980s and 1990s, but the report showed the numbers rising dramatically, with a 16 percent increase shown from 2010 to 2014.
China's growing clout in the arms trade has raised multiple concerns. Turkey, traditionally a U.S. ally in the Middle East, has plans to purchase a $3 billion air-defense missile package from China.
Germany's arms exports fell 43 percent as China grew, taking on 18 African nations as buyers, during a five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the BBC reported.
The New York Times reported China's share of the arms trade is at an all-time high since the mid-1980s, when it sold weapons to both sides of the Iran-Iraq war.