China emerges as world`s 2nd biggest arms spender

China has emerged as the world`s second biggest arms spender for the second consecutive year after the US, splurging a whopping USD 100 billion despite the global financial crisis, according to a Swedish think-tank.

London: China has emerged as the world`s
second biggest arms spender for the second consecutive year
after the US, splurging a whopping USD 100 billion despite the
global financial crisis, according to a Swedish think-tank.

Latest figures released by the Stockholm International
Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), also estimated that some
8,100 nuclear warheads were in operation worldwide in the US,
Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan and Israel.
SIPRI said that around 2,000 nuclear warheads were
still on "high alert" or ready to be launched within minutes.

Of the total stockpile, US had 2,702 warheads, 2,202
strategic and 500 non-strategic, while China had 186 strategic
warheads and Israel had 80.

SIPRI said that warhead stockpiles of Pakistan, India
and Israel was partly deployed.

The international think-tank said that the world`s
military spending reached a colossal USD 1.53 trillion in
2009.
The US remained the biggest defence spender allocating
a massive USD 661 billion, accounting for almost 54 per cent
of the increase in the global arms sale.

Data revealed that Asia and Ocenia region countries
were also increasing their military expenditures by leaps.
India with a defence spending of USD 36 billion was at the
ninth spot.

Perlo Freeman, a SIPRI spokesman, said though military
spending did not form part of the economic stimulus packages,
defence spending was not cut by nations.

"Major and intermediate powers such as the US, Russia,
China, India, Brazil -- military spending continue to
represent a long term strategic goal which they were unwilling
to compromise even in hard economic times," he said.

PTI