India pips China, tops arms import race

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Stockholm, Mar 14: There's no stopping to the India story that has left the entire world gape in awe. In yet another feather in its cap, India has emerged as the world's largest arms importer, a report by a Sweden-based research institute said.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said, "India is the world's largest arms importer...India received 9 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 per cent of Indian arms imports."

China dropped a place to the second spot which it shared with South Korea. Pakistan rounded up the top three list.

India accounts for 9 percent of the arms import share, followed by China and South Korea both at 6 percent each, while Pakistan takes 5 percent. The statistics include arms that have been imported and also those that will continue to take delivery.

India last topped the list in 1992.

Amid the fanfare, there lies a disturbing trend though. The top countries in the list are all from Asia and predominantly from south-east Asia which once again re-emphasises the regions image as the most volatile in the world.

India has increased its defence budget for 2011-12 to Rs 1.5 trillion, a mammoth 40 percent hike from two years before.

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