Graft-hit Chinese military launches open bid for arms purchase

Bogged down by massive corruption scandals, the Chinese Army on Thursday carried out its first open bidding for nearly USD 15 million worth of equipment in an attempt to bring transparency in the procurement processes of the world's largest military.

PTI| Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 19:41 PM IST

Beijing: Bogged down by massive corruption scandals, the Chinese Army on Thursday carried out its first open bidding for nearly USD 15 million worth of equipment in an attempt to bring transparency in the procurement processes of the world's largest military.

More than 20 bidders, including private enterprises, took part in the bid for 35 pieces of equipment in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, a statement by the PLA General Armament Department said.

This is the first time that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) military weapon procurement website has been used for competitive bidding.

The items released for tender have been valued at around 90 million yuan (USD 14.53 million), it said.

The PLA, with more than 2.3 million personnel, is undergoing its worst anti-corruption crackdown during which about 30 top generals are being investigated for graft.

China has the second-largest defence budget, which this year amounted to about USD 144 billion.

To ensure fairness and transparency, today's bidding was assessed by panelists selected randomly from a database. The results will be published on the website at a later date.

The website provides information on PLA weapon and armament needs, relevant policies, procurement notices, enterprise lists and technology.

Private enterprises, military purchasing departments and military industry groups as well as personnel can register themselves on the website for consultation and further information, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The platform was established to accelerate reforms in the armament procurement system, break procurement barriers, improve competitiveness and promote efficiency, the statement said.