China’s Military Involvement and Peacekeeping in Africa
Chinese arms show up across the African continent from Liberia to Somalia. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was allowed to sell weapons in the 1980s and created several export enterprises, most notably, Norinco, Xiangxing, and Poly Group, which have sold weapons to those states that the United States called rogue states, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, while Chinese weapons were used in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Chad, and Liberia.1
The Chinese trades in arms appear to be mostly small arms sales to middlemen arms dealers who in turn sell to both governments and rebels in Africa. The available evidence suggests these amounts are not major, especially compared to the United States’ supply of nearly fifty percent of the world’s weapons, and that the direct leverage of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) or the civilian ministries is modest in most African conflicts. The Stockholm International Research Institute (SIRI ) estimates China’s...