Russian Sales of Expensive Best Weapons to China Mutually BeneficialPosted: November 26, 2016
China’s official military forum mil.huanqiu.com says in its report yesterday that according to the website of Russian Today Economy News Agency, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia and China has concluded contracts in military technology field worth US$3 billion. I said in my post yesterday that he regarded Sino-Russian military cooperation as the most important of all important issues.
At first, Russian military was unwilling to sell China its most advanced weapons S-400 air defense system and Su-35 fighter jets for fear that China may copy such weapons. Now, it is more than willing to do so.
Russian military expert Vassily Kashin says that it is natural that China will copy Russian weapons to improve its weapon technology. However, the weapons sold to China are very expensive. It enables Russia to recover the development cost and have funds for development of even more advanced weapons to sell China.
As a result, the weapon sales are mutually beneficial. China will obtain advanced weapons cheaper and quicker than it develops on its own while with the profit from such sales, Russia will be able to develop more weapons to sell to China.
As for the US, it is not willing to sell China any advanced weapons. China has to use spies to steal US advanced weapon technology free of charge. Russia understands that China will after all be able to develop advanced weapons similar to those Russia has developed. Why shall Russia not sell China to enable China to save while Russia to make more advanced weapons to keep on the sales and making profits?
For China, since the weapons are available and China has enough funds to purchase, why shall China steal? There has been no news whatever about China stealing Russian weapon technology.
In fact, the US may sell advanced weapons to China at excessively high prices. For example, it can sell its F-22 with the profit of more than US$100 million each.
That is a price China will accept as proved by China’s purchase of 24 Su-35 at the excessive price of US$2 billion. China only wanted 2, but agreed to buy 24 to get the technology through reverse engineering. In fact, Su-35 perhaps includes some technology that China already has or does not need but China has to pay for them.
That is also the case with F-22, China will buy it for defense, its penetrating strike capabilities are useless for China, but China has to pay for them if it buys F-22. It needs only 2 F-22, but has to buy 24 so that the US may earn excessive profits.
The problem is that US government will not be benefited from the sale. Unlike Russian government who owns the weapon producers, US does not own any of the weapon producers. The sale will only enrich those producers, who will not reduce government’s financial burdens in providing it with advanced weapons. As usual, they will be reimbursed by the government all the R&D costs plus an increment of profit. With such a system, US government and people will be increasingly debt ridden in getting advanced weapons from weapons producers.
China on the other hand may develop J-20 stealth fighter jet to deal with F-22 at much lower costs as it needs some of F-22’s expensive capabilities or enable its weapon producers to make windfall profits.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on mil.huanqiu.com’s report “Russia media: Russian weapons indispensable for China: US$3 billion contracts signed in a year”