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China-Russia military cooperation grows amid Ukraine conflict

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Beijing | May 10, 2022 10:53:22 PM IST
Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the interdependence between Russia and China has increased as Moscow's defence industry is looking for suppliers in China.

The growing interdependence with bilateral cooperation becoming a reciprocal "two-way street." This pattern consolidated after the Ukraine Crisis of 2014, when Russia started to consider China as not only a market but also a provider of critical items for Russian arms. Russia has changed its attitude toward a more comprehensive and interdependent military cooperation with China and is no longer cautious about relying on China, the Diplomat reported.

Russia is reconsidering its previous defence-equipment-for-cash model of military cooperation with China in favour of long-term cooperation projects that interlock military production in both countries and increase interdependence, The Diplomat reported.

China-Russia contracts for the joint design of weapons systems and military R&D are difficult to track as the Russian defence industry has also started to fetch suppliers in China.

Some projects take the form of the joint production of weapons in Chinese territory with Russia developing critical elements of different platforms (e.g., airframes or suspension systems), rather than entire platforms.

The most extensive bilateral programs are related to aircraft engines and anti-aircraft weapons.

According to media reports, China's support to Russia in opposition to the enlargement of NATO has given rise to concerns in the Eastern and Central European countries about the reliability of the Asian giant as a partner which can be counted on.

Beijing increasingly recognizes that China and the U.S. are on a long-term collision course and that Washington has embarked on a strategy of containing China, the report added.

The possibility of a tighter China-Russia military alignment in which both countries provide military assistance to each other in their confrontation with the West will have serious global geopolitical implications.

Some countries will be put off dealing with Moscow and the fear of Western sanctions which is why Russia's sales are hit by war.

As Russia's defence industry faces an uphill struggle in years to come, Moscow may increasingly turn to China to fill capability gaps in areas such as armed drones. If this does occur, it will represent a major role reversal. (ANI)

 
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