China: February 5, 2005

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Ukrainian officials accuse former president Leonid Kuchma of allowing six Kh-55 (AS-15) cruise missiles to be illegally exported to China. The new Ukrainian president, Viktor Yushchenko, is a reformer and wants better economic and diplomatic ties with the West. That will cut off sales of high tech weapons, and weapons manufacturing technology, to China. But most, if not all, of the old Soviet military technology Ukraine inherited when it split off from the Soviet Union in 1991, may already be in China's hands. The Chinese don't talk about, or even admit, to obtaining this technology. But it does show up in their new weapons, which often look very much like the systems they were copied from. In the case of missiles and aircraft, that's somewhat unavoidable. 

 

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