China is winding down its large scale
purchase of Russian weapons. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, China has
purchased over $30 billion worth of Russian arms. Warplanes, especially
Su-27/30 models, warships and anti-aircraft missiles were the big items. China
wants more advanced military technology from Russia, but the Russians refuse to
let certain missile secrets out of the country. So the Chinese are cutting
back. While the Chinese accounted for over 70 percent of Russian arms sales a
decade ago, it's now only 40 percent, and headed for 20 percent over the next
few years. An era in weapons procurement is ending.
It's not the first time Russia has armed the
Chinese with modern weapons. It happened in the 1930s, the 50s and 60s.
Relations between the two nations went south in the 70s and 80s, but picked up
once the Soviet Union collapsed. That resulted in an enormous transfer of
military technology to China. The Russians got paid in cash, and the Chinese
are now trying to use that technology to build their own high tech weapons. Russia,
meanwhile, is expanding its weapons sales, and becoming less dependent on China