Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Who is selling arms irresponsibly?

By Kong Chushan ( Updated: 2012-09-05 16:15

An article published by The Washington Post on Aug 26 said that weapons imported from China fueled regional conflicts and humanitarian crises in Africa, and said that China's arms exports are not in line with its "responsibilities as a global power".

Such claims are not true and invert justice by calling white black and playing the trick of "a thief covering himself by shouting loud". This attitude is deeply rooted in some westerners' superiority complex.

In fact, those who claim to be "responsible arms traders" are not responsible at all. According to a newly released report by the Congressional Research Service of the United States, the arms export of the US in 2011 reached a record high of $66.3 billion, which accounts for nearly 78 percent of the world's total and is three times higher than 2010's figure.

Where did this huge amount of weapons go?

If you dig in a little, you will find out that nearly half of the weapons were sold to the Middle East region, known by everyone for its volatility and instability. The high-tech weapons include fighter jets, missiles, missile defense interceptors and warships. Such a big flow of advanced weapons undoubtedly has the potential to damage the fragile geopolitical balance of the region, trigger a regional arms race, and subsequently bring suffering to the countries and people there.

To achieve their hidden agendas and serve their own interests, certain states spare no efforts in arming insurgent forces, changing regimes through unwarranted charges, fighting proxy wars and interfering with others' internal affairs.

It is naive to believe that the US is looking at only the Middle East. Actually, US arms dealers are visible in every instable region of the world. Let's take East Asia as an example. In recent years, the US has advocated the establishment of a regional missile defense system to neutralize the hypothetical missile threat of North Korea.

Even though the need and effectiveness of such a system are very much in doubt, US arms dealers would undoubtedly make tremendous profits through selling anti-missile weapon systems -- including the Patriot missile defense system -- to countries in the region. To pave the way for future arms exports, the US even took the risk of escalating regional tensions through military or other interventions under the banner of safeguarding security. Such practices have become a standard pattern for the US government to serve its arms merchants.

One wonders about those countries always criticizing others for fueling regional conflicts and aggravating humanitarian crises through irresponsible arms export. Do they really care about the humanitarian issues? We don't think so.

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