With joint dialogues, incubators, and technology parks, Beijing and Moscow are seeking to overcome deficiencies and compete with the United States.
China and Russia are deepening and expanding their ties — economic, military, technological — as external pressures limit their access to overseas markets and technology. Both countries hope the collaboration will help to compensate for domestic deficiencies and to compete successfully with the United States in today’s critical technologies.
This bilateral relationship, currently celebrating its 70th anniversary, has ebbed and flowed in the decades since the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China opened diplomatic relations. This relationship, now upgraded to and characterized as a “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era,” is continuing to evolve amid today’s great power rivalry.
For Moscow, certain Chinese products, services and experience may be the lifeline for its industry, government, and military need to wean themselves from high-tech Western imports.
For Beijing, Russia’s skilled engineers and mathematicians are a valuable resource for tech and defense industry giants that are hungry for talent and faced with increasingly unfavorable conditions in the United States and Europe. And its military hopes to draw on Russian proficiency in designing advanced weapons and experience using emerging capabilities on today’s battlefields.
Consequently, the Sino-Russian strategic partnership has increasingly concentrated on technology and innovation. In the wake of Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in May 2015, the Chinese and Russian governments have signed a series of agreements to develop new realms of cooperation. In June 2016, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development signed the “Memorandum of Understanding on Launching Cooperation in the Domain of Innovation.” The notion of these nations as linked in a “science and technology cooperation partnership for shared innovation” has been elevated as a major pillars of this relationship.
Moscow — Russia is helping China build a new missile attack warning system, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday. Neither Putin nor Russia’s major weapons manufacturer, which confirmed the deal on Friday, revealed any further details about the system or conditions of the agreement, or when it might be operational.
“We are currently helping our Chinese partners to create a missile attack warning system. It’s a serious thing that will drastically increase the defense capabilities of the People’s Republic of China,” Putin announced at a political conference in Sochi on Thursday.
“Right now only the U.S. and Russia have such systems,” he said.
On Friday, Sergei Boyev, director general of Vympel, Russia’s major weapons manufacturer, confirmed to Russia’s state-run media that the company was working on “modelling” the system for China. Boyev designed Russia’s missile attack warning system.
“We can’t talk in detail about it because of confidentiality agreements,” Boyev said.
Russia’s missile attack warning system was built to detect attacks on state and military command posts, and with its incorporated satellites, provides data to Moscow’s missile defense system as well as for the country’s space monitoring system.
The Kremlin decision to help China build a similar system was not unexpected, foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov told CBS News, noting that it “has been quietly discussed for the past several years.”
According to Frolov, the move could be seen as a response to U.S. plans to deploy intermediate range missiles in Asia, and it is likely to lead to deeper cooperation with China on creating an integrated missile defense system. Russia is effectively creating a military alliance with China, Frolov told CBS News, thus lessening the possibility of military clashes between the two countries and raising the stakes should any other geopolitical power, including the U.S., decide to oppose either.