The long-protected Chinese defence industry is opening up to foreign investors as the Chinese Government seeks to invigorate the industry.

Firms producing less-sensitive military equipment will be allowed to solicit domestic and foreign investors under new guidelines issued by the Chinese Government last month, Agence France-Presse reported.

The reforms are aimed at helping weapons makers become more market-oriented while increasing innovation and the competitiveness of the defence industry but enterprises that involve state secrets or have a direct impact on national security will remain off limits to investors.