Beijing, Moscow upgrade security ties

In the latest sign of Beijing’s and Moscow’s expanding strategic partnership, Russia is assisting China in creating a highly sophisticated missile-defense early warning system.

It follows arms sales of Russia’s most high-tech military kit to China, and comes against a backdrop of expanding cooperation between the militaries of the two states, which are forging a new unity due to their respective animosities with the United States and its allies in Europe and East Asia.

Big declaration, few details

“I don’t think I will reveal a big secret,” Putin quipped in Sochi, according to Russian news agency Tass. "This will become evident after all."

“We are now helping our Chinese partners to create a missile warning system,” the Russian president continued. “This is a very serious thing that will drastically enhance the defensive capacity of the People’s Republic of China as currently, only the US and Russia have such systems.”

The systems are designed to enable countries to spot the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles, thus granting defensive weapons critical early-warning time. They are highly sophisticated, integrating widely spaced ground-based radar networks and reconnaissance satellites via computer and secure communications networks.

Buying Russia’s top toys

While Russia is reportedly concerned about alleged Chinese theft of some of its technologies, such as aircraft designs, there is clearly trust between Moscow and Beijing. This is clear from China’s purchase in the last five years of some of Russia’s most advanced weapons – notably Su-35 fighters and S-400 missile defense systems.

It has also bought engines from Russia for its aircraft-carrier-based fighters, and multirole helicopters. There has also been discussion about the integration of China’s BeiDou and Russia’s Glonass global navigation systems, which would challenge the dominance of the US Global Positioning System (GPS).


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