China selling drones to the Middle East

The Chinese government may be selling armed drones to Middle East clients, in particular, the United Arab Emirates.

The Obama administration opposed selling UAE weapons-carrying drones under provisions of the 30-year-old Missile Technology Control Regime, which aims to limit the spread of missile technology.

But that agreement has not stopped Beijing from selling armed drones to UAE, according to American and British media.

Satellite photos show at least three Chinese-made Wing Loong II drones capable of being armed at a mysterious Emirati air base in the country’s deep south.

China’s government has never officially acknowledged selling Wing Loong II drones to anyone, let alone the UAE. But the state-run Xinhua News Agency has reported a major sale of the drones to a foreign buyer.

Chinese representatives of the Wing Loong II drone maker would not confirm to American media at the Unmanned Systems Exhibition & Conference held recently in Abu Dhabi that the maker sold drones to UAE.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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