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Russian arms sales to China dwindling: Official

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Arms export from Russia to China has been steadily declining.

MOSCOW (PTI): Buying of arms by Russia's one-time biggest customer, China, has seen a decline and such trend may continue, chief of Russia’s sole state intermediary agency for export-import of defence-related technologies and services has said.

“China's share in our (arms) exports is now less than 18 per cent and will further drop,” Director General of Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin said.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Isaikin said the dwindling volume of arms sales to China was logical.

“Their military-industrial complex is successfully developing. That's why China buys very little,” he said.

During the last 15 years, China has been Russia's largest arms buyer followed by India.

In the first decade of the century, beginning from 2001, China has bought $16 billion worth of arms from Russia, including 200 Sukhoi fighters of various modifications, S-300 air defence missiles, Sovremenny class destroyers and Kilo class diesel-electric submarines.

Last year, Russia signed an agreement to sale its 100 RD-93 engines for Chinese J-10 fighters.

Meanwhile, in an apparent reference to India, Isaikin said a similar tendency is visible with other partners also, with the focus shifting from ‘buyer-seller’ relationship to joint development and production of weapon systems.

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