Rafael Rey told The Associated Press that the army is testing MBT-2000 tanks brought from China, but wants a better-equipped model of the tank. Peru showed the tanks in a parade on Tuesday.
Rey didn't say how many tanks Peru would buy. The Lima newspaper La Republica reported that it plans to buy 80 to 120 tanks and has evaluated Chinese, German, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish models.
The defense minister later told RPP radio that Peru is also planning to look at navy and air force purchases as well.
A military commission recommended that Peru buy Brazilian Super Tucano fighter planes. "The are very simple to operate but have advanced technology," Rey said.
Peru President Alan Garcia has pushed for a disarmament pact in South America as weapons purchases in Venezuela, Brazil and Chile and a U.S. military expansion in Colombia fuels a budding arms race.
Piero Vargas AP
In this photo released by Andina Agency, soldiers wait on their tanks before a military parade in Lima, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009. Peru's Defense Minister Rafael Rey said Peru's military is close to a deal to buy tanks from China. (AP Photo/Piero Vargas, Andina Agency)
www.chinaview.cn 2009-12-08 12:11:11
LIMA, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese naval fleet successfully concluded its four-day goodwill port call and a friendly visit to Peru on Dec. 7 and left Callao Port for Ecuador to continue its South America tour.
The Peruvian navy held a grand seeing-off ceremony for the Chinese navy fleet which is composed of the destroyer "Shijiazhuang" and the support vessel "Hongzehu" at the Callao Port.
The Peruvian commander of surface forces of the army, Commander Edmundo Deville, Chinese Ambassador to Peru Zhao Wuyi, along with embassy staffs and representatives of overseas Chinese in Peru attended the ceremony.
During the visit, Major General Wang Fushan, vice-commander of the North Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy and head of the visiting fleet met with Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who boarded the "Shijiazhuang" destroyer.
Meanwhile, military bands of both sides staged a joint-performance at the port's square. The Chinese military band also played Chinese music in the China town in Lima.
Additionally, Chinese navy fleet members paid visits to Peruvian surface forces, submarine forces, Navy officer academy and a dockyard, and held a party with local overseas Chinese.
Departing from Qingdao on Oct. 18 for a four-nation tour, the Chinese navy fleet arrived in Peru on Dec. 3 after its visit to Chile. The rest two stops are Ecuador and French Polynesia.
Editor: Xiong TongVisiting Major General Wang Fushan (L, Front), vice-commander of the North Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, and Peruvian President Alan Garcia (R, Front) inspect the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony in Lima, capital of Peru, on Dec. 5, 2009. Garcia met with Wang Fushan and visited missile destroyer Shijiazhuang of Chinese navy here on Saturday.(Xinhua/Jia Anping)