A growing number of nations are
pressuring China to be more careful who it sells military grade weapons to.
Chinese assault rifles are showing up in northeast India, Afghanistan and
several other places in Asia and Africa. The Chinese Type 81 assault rifle is
one of the most frequently encountered weapons. This is a 7.5 pound rifle that
looks like the Chinese Type 56 (itself a copy of the Russian AK-47). The main
differences are that the Type 81 has less recoil and "jump" (of the rifle when
fired), which improves accuracy.
in the process of replacing its own Type 81 rifles with a bullpup (30 round
magazine behind the trigger) design, the Type 95 (QBZ-95). This weapon, about
ten percent lighter than the older rifle, uses a proprietary 5.8x42mm
cartridge, which has a casing that is a little wider, but shorter than that
found in the 5.56/45mm NATO round. There is an export version of the Type 95
(the Type 97) that will fire the 5.56mm NATO round. This is also being
encountered in the hands of bandits, irregulars and rebels of all sorts.
China makes bulk sales to governments in places like Myanmar and Bangladesh,
and those weapons make their way to gunrunners, who will sell to anyone with
the cash. China refuses to cooperate in tracking down the legal buyers of these