Procurement: Russian Lawyers Prepare To Attack

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April 3,2008: Russian military sales to China in 2007 are down 62 percent from 2006. For the last decade, Russia has averaged nearly $2 billion worth of arms sales a year to China. Russian exports weapons to about sixty nations, but China and India comprise the majority of those sales. The loss of Chinese business has been expected for many years. Part of it is due to Chinese efforts to improve their ability to design and manufacture complex weapons systems themselves. But what really has poisoned relations between the two countries has been the Chinese practice of copying Russian military gear, without paying for it. This theft of intellectual property, some of it due to bribery and espionage, came to a head last year when the Russian government finally demanded that the Chinese stop the stealing. China, as it usually does in these cases, denied everything and refused to take any action. This forced the Russians to either stop shipping high tech gear to China, or to look like saps. This time, the Russians did hold back on some shipments, and are continuing to threaten the Chinese with legal action. This could get interesting, because the Chinese are not trying to sell their illegal copies of Russian equipment on the international market. This could expose the Chinese to litigation.

 


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