Trade between China and Peru, a key U.S. ally in the regional drug war, is at a new high. Now the Chinese defense industry is getting in on the action.

Military officials from Beijing increasingly are making high-level visits, pushing initiatives to protect Chinese nationals and companies here and, in some instances, undermining U.S. arms deals in order to sell their own weapons to this resource-rich Andean nation.

Last month, for example, the Peruvian Defense Ministry canceled a $114 million contract with a consortium that included U.S. defense manufacturer Northrop Grumman after a Chinese company convinced officials that the deal did not meet technical specifications.

Peruvian officials awarded the contract in February to the Triad consortium consisting of Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Polish Bumar Group and the Northrop Group to provide an air defense system.

Russia’s Rosoboronexport and a consortium of Chinese defense manufacturers also bid for the contract.

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