Monday, September 13, 2010

Quote in Defense News

I'm quoted in Wendell Minnick's article "China Showcases Arms at Africa Defense Expo" in Defense News today.

The piece doesn't seem to appear on the DN website. Here's my quote:
In March 2008, South African dockworkers refused to unload a Chinese cargo ship carrying 70 tons of small arms and ammunition for eventual delivery to Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF Party, led by President Robert Mugabe. The ZANU-PF was accused of using violence against pro-democracy advocates during elections. The ship was rerouted to Angola, where it off-loaded non-military cargo and returned to China with the remaining arms.

Beijing initially defended the shipment, but relented after international pressure.

“The most obvious conclusion is that there is good money to be made in the arms business, and China has become one of the world’s most important suppliers of arms — globally, well behind the U.S. and Russia — to the developing world,” said David Shinn, former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia.

From 2001 to 2008, China transferred to sub-Saharan Africa 390 artillery pieces, 440 armored personnel carriers and armored cars, 46 minor surface combatants, 20 supersonic combat aircraft and 70 military aircraft (mostly transport), said Shinn, now an African specialist with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

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