Skip to comments.China eyes $3.5 billion Russian arms deal despite ire over Sukhoi copy
Posted on 03/28/2013 7:58:44 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
China eyes $3.5 billion Russian arms deal despite ire over Sukhoi copy
(Reuters) - China is seeking renewed deliveries of advanced weapons from Russia with a $3.5 billion deal for fighters and submarines in the pipeline despite lingering resentment in Moscow over Chinese copying of its military technology.
China's state media reported this week that Moscow had agreed to supply 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters and four Amur-class conventional submarines to the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which would make it the first major arms deal between the two nations in almost 10 years.
Russia has not yet confirmed the deal and military experts there said the Chinese announcement was premature because negotiations were continuing.
But the reports signal that Beijing wants to boost its military firepower as it locks horns with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea and contends with the U.S. military pivot to Asia.
The need to order some of Russia's most advanced military hardware also indicates that shortcomings remain with some of China's home-grown defense technologies, military analysts said.
"Currently the two sides are working on the relevant contracts and the results are likely to be produced by the end of the year," said Vassily Kashin, an expert on Russia's arms trade with China at Moscow's Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.
The reports of the agreements and extensive coverage of the capabilities of the fighters and submarines on China's state television also appeared timed to enhance the domestic propaganda value of a visit to Moscow by President Xi Jinping last week, his first foreign trip since he formally took office earlier this month.
"This is all being done to pump up Xi's image," said Reuben Johnson, a Kiev-based military analyst and correspondent for Jane's Information Group. "I
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