- - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Western sanctions on Russia may be having a serious unintended consequence—upgrading the Chinese military to hyper-sophisticated levels. The sanctions, along with the collapse of the price of crude oil in international markets, has forced Russia to export technology that in better days, it thought better of doing. Russia doesn’t export much outside of natural resources, but Russia does make very good weapons systems.

China is known for copying technology as it has difficulty developing its own products. The export of sophisticated fighter jets, like the SU-35, one of the best fighters in the world, will have a serious impact on the capability of the Chinese air force in later years, as it will certainly clone the technology. And it’s not only fighter planes, Russia is exporting the S-400 anti-aircraft air defense system that will give the Chinese an ability to possibly deny Western aircraft from operating in theaters where it is deployed.

“We need China’s political support, so this is why we take this inevitable risk,” said Russian defense analyst Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). “Obviously, anyone who can commit hundreds of millions of dollars to defense contracts is important, but because of the political dialogue China is doubly important,” reports The Moscow Times.

Russian arms manufacturers have learned that to counter Chinese cloning of technology, the Russian military must field more advanced systems to stay ahead of China, a long-term adversary of Russia in the past. Sounds like good advice for Western defense agencies as well.

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