A trip by president Vladimir Putin to Beijing in the second week of October was shadowed by the discovery of a Chinese spy network in Russia, writes defense specialist Reuben F. Johnson in The Washington Times. Arms trade from Russia to China was already dwindling.
Reuben F. Johnson:
Russia’s concerns with China begin with a fall-off in arms exports. Beginning in the 1990s, Russia enjoyed a brisk trade with China in sales of arms and defense technology, at the time a lifeline of badly needed revenue.
Sukhoi Su-27SK and Su-30MKK fighter jets, surface combatant warships and the effective Almaz-Antei S-300 air- and missile-defense systems sold to Beijing were major moneymakers for Moscow.
In recent years, however, Beijing’s purchases dwindled to a few specialized technologies — mainly fighter-jet engines, helicopters and air-defense systems.
“These are the only remaining systems that the Chinese have not yet been able to illegally copy,” said a Moscow-based analyst who consults with Russian and EU national defense industry policymakers.
As if to send home the message, just prior to Mr. Putin’s visit, theRussian government arrested a Moscow-based Chinese national, Tun Shenyun. Mr. Tun was identified as a Ministry of State Security (MSS) spy operating under cover as a translator assisting visiting Chinese delegations.
- Russia’s Putin Visits Beijing: Friendly Neighbors or Strategic Competitors? (globalspin.blogs.time.com)
- Defense expert Reuben F. Johnson joins China Speakers Bureau (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- More Chinese espionage, this time against Russia (thuytinhvo.wordpress.com)