Military Diplomacy Through Arms Transfers: A Case Study of China

B.S. Sachar was Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • April 2004

    Military diplomacy has long been one of the essential constituents of international diplomacy and an effective method to foster bilateral and regional relationships. Arms transfers serve as an important foreign policy tool and have become, a crucial dimension of world politics. Conventional arms transfers entail not only the provision of weapons/ equipment but carry with them a number of military commitments that have long‐term implications. The PLA has always had a significant role in shaping and implementing China's foreign policy. China has invariably used arms sales to promote military diplomacy and further its foreign policy interests. In the regional context, China has attempted to reduce India's influence by arming its neighbours and establishing strong military ties with them. The strategic avenues generated by China's arms trade are a good cue for India. With a high‐tech defence industry and production of world‐class military equipment, India is well placed to advance military diplomacy through arms sales.