The bear and the dragon are once again demonstrating their desire to become less dependent on western countries and forging a strong partnership with the Chinese. China recently signed today a 30-year deal with Russia’s Gazprom worth over $400 billion.
In fact, Gazprom will provide China with more than 38 billion cubic meter of gas annually. According to Gazprom, their exportation in 2013 was 161,5 billion cubic meters. Adding China’s new deal, Gazprom will export close to 200 billion cubic meters yearly, making them one of the biggest natural gas exportation countries in the world.
In this three part series, I will elaborate on:
- China-Russia military cooperation
- China-Russia weapons deal
- China-Russia economic relations
CHINA-RUSSIA MILITARY COOPERATION
China and Russia have been conducting regular military exercises together, and both countries will meet in the East China Sea in a few days to conduct joint naval drills.
Is it possible that these drills are orchestrated as some sort of ‘’show of force’’ in the east China Sea, where China announced an air defense identification zone last year?
Both countries are currently listed as number 2 and 3 in the world’s top 15 military spenders for 2013 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (read the report by downloading the PDF file here). More than 3 million active military soldiers are ‘’ready-to-fight’’ altogether.
Although a military alliance de jure between Russia and China is highly unlikely, both countries are working closely to expand their strategic partnership, making them capable of sharing vital information on the international level. They might not be an alliance but de facto we can see elements of one.
CHINA-RUSSIA WEAPONS DEAL
Russia is currently working on a $3.5 billion deal that would provide the PLA with 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters and four Amur-class conventional submarines. If concluded, this arrangement will be the first major arms trade between the two countries in more than 10 years.
Russia sold more than $26 billion in weapons and technology to China from 1992 to 2006. This deal was concluded to ensure the PLA’s ability to compete against any Western country.
With the increasing military cooperation, it is only normal that the two countries share some common equipment. While China is known to copy or reverse engineer, Russia will keep providing the PLA equipment.
Last year’s contracts added up to approximately $2.3 billion, equipping the PLA with more jet aircraft engines, helicopters and missiles.
More to follow…