Even in a booming economy, Chinese defense industries stand out, growing 26.8 percent in 2004 (to $20 billion in sales). Chinas military industries, many of them owned by the armed forces, produce everything from assault rifles, to warships, electronics and warplanes. China has been aggressively buying, or stealing, military technology, and upgrading the weapons it builds. Chinese weapons technology has always been way behind what is found in the West. But currently, compared to the United States, Chinese produced weapons are, in some cases, only a decade or two behind, and still closing the gap.