The Magazine

The Arsenal of the Iraq Insurgency

It's made in China.

Aug 13, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 45 • By JOHN J. TKACIK JR.
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The "China exception" notwithstanding, the ease with which Chinese state-owned munitions industries export vast quantities of small arms to violence-prone and war-ravaged areas--from Iraq and Afghanistan to Darfur--leaves no room to doubt that the Chinese government pursues this behavior as a matter of state policy. A regime with $1.3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves cannot claim that it "needs the money" and so turns a blind eye to dangerous exports by its own military. But until the scales fall from the eyes of Washington's diplomats and geopoliticians and they see China's cynical global strategy for what it is, few of the globe's current crises are likely to be resolved in America's--or democracy's--favor.
In particular, U.S. soldiers and Iraqi and Afghan civilians will continue to be killed by Chinese weapons.

John J. Tkacik Jr., a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., served in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Taipei in the U.S. Foreign Service.