Procurement: China and Russia Parting Company


May 12, 2007: China is winding down its large scale purchase of Russian weapons. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, China has purchased over $30 billion worth of Russian arms. Warplanes, especially Su-27/30 models, warships and anti-aircraft missiles were the big items. China wants more advanced military technology from Russia, but the Russians refuse to let certain missile secrets out of the country. So the Chinese are cutting back. While the Chinese accounted for over 70 percent of Russian arms sales a decade ago, it's now only 40 percent, and headed for 20 percent over the next few years. An era in weapons procurement is ending.

It's not the first time Russia has armed the Chinese with modern weapons. It happened in the 1930s, the 50s and 60s. Relations between the two nations went south in the 70s and 80s, but picked up once the Soviet Union collapsed. That resulted in an enormous transfer of military technology to China. The Russians got paid in cash, and the Chinese are now trying to use that technology to build their own high tech weapons. Russia, meanwhile, is expanding its weapons sales, and becoming less dependent on China for sales.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close