Wendell Minnick

Despite bad memories on the first deal with the Sukhoi Su-27/J-11A fighter, Russia seems to move forward in negotiations on a second fighter deal with China, writes defense specialist Wendell Minnick in Defense News. Reason: geopolitical considerations, rather than business sense.

Wendell Minnick:

Not everyone is happy about Moscow’s direction, including India, a longtime Russian arms importer. India fought one border war with China in 1962 and continues to complain of Chinese military assistance and arms sales to Pakistan.

Nitin Mehta, a New Delhi-based defense analyst, said the reported sale of Amur submarines and Su-35 fighters to China “cannot be ignored and indicates that Indo-Russian defense ties could see some downturn in the future.”

The sales of advanced new equipment, otherwise unavailable from local Chinese industry, could have serious implications for U.S. security commitments in the region.

For the U.S., confronted by falling defense budgets, this means the technological gap between its forces and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will continue to shrink, said Dean Cheng, a research fellow with the Heritage Foundation.

“Worse, the introduction of new, quieter subs and the more advanced fighter aircraft calls into question the ability for the U.S. to control the ‘commons’ — that is, airspace and sea space,” he said. “Future conflicts may not see American dominance of air and sea, and certainly should not be assumed as a given.”

More in Defense News.

Wendell Minnick is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.


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