After the visit was followed by a curious refutation from ITAR-TASSin which 22-24 in March during the visit of the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping to Moscow did not sign agreements on the supply of modern Russian weapons and military equipment to China. The source of such a statement, originating from the system of military-technical cooperation of the Russian Federation with foreign countries, was hidden behind a veil of anonymity. Information about the agreements allegedly signed during the visit through the PTS was distributed by the Central Chinese Television.
So, misinformation was caused by the habit of beating the Chinese in fanfare on the slightest occasion? The fact is that not during the visit of Comrade Xi, but on the eve of his Russia and China signed a document in the form of a framework agreement on the supply of aircraft and submarines. This is reporting "Sight" with reference to the RIA "News". The PRC is likely to purchase non-nuclear submarines of the 24 “Amur” project from the 35 and Su-4 and 1650 aircraft from the Russian Federation. The implementation of these two agreements may be the first in the last decade a major supply of Russian weapons to China. Moreover, the Chinese side believes that in the future, the PRC and the Russian Federation may expand cooperation in the field of arms supplies. We are talking about the purchase by China of heavy 117C engines, C-400 anti-aircraft guns, Il-76 transport aircraft and Il-78 tanker aircraft.
The contract for the supply of Su-35 and submarines, as told “Russian service BBC” military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, really signed. It was prepared for several months: during this time, the parties discussed the volume of deliveries. The fact is that Russia refused to deliver a small batch of aircraft to China, fearing that Beijing is planning to copy these products. But during the negotiations last year, an agreement was signed on the protection of intellectual property in terms of defense products.
However, you should not trust such a categorical statement about signing.
В Nezavisimaya Gazeta An article by Anastasia Bashkatova and Vladimir Mukhin was published, entitled: “Moscow and Beijing did not understand which agreements they had signed.” Correspondents mention the fact that negotiations on the conclusion of a contract for the supply of fighters to the PRC were conducted a long time ago, and an intergovernmental Russian-Chinese agreement on the supply of Su-35 to China was signed in January 2013. Then followed the consultation on the preparation of the contract. Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, told reporters in February about this. He clarified that this would not be a license, but a delivery contract: China will receive ready-to-operate aircraft. Deliveries should begin after 2015, and the deal was estimated at about 1,5 billion.
It seems that journalists write that Moscow and Beijing are confused. A scandal developed around the deliveries of Russian fighters and submarines to the PRC. The main dispute was caused by the possibility of transferring production technologies to China and organizing the production of analogues directly in Chinese enterprises.
According to sources from the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, China wants to minimize purchases of finished samples of military equipment from Russia. The main interest of China is the import and development of the latest Russian technologies. Therefore, the Chinese and halved the amount of purchases discussed Su-35: from 48 to 24 pieces. A preliminary memorandum on the import of such a number of Russian fighters was agreed by the parties in November 2012. The experts interviewed by NG confirmed that the development of their own foreign products is part of China’s industrial policy, which applies to virtually any of its production. Experts tried to predict the total value of the contract, which allegedly was concluded between the countries. Taking into account the price of one Su-35 of approximately 90 million dollars and taking into account the price of submarines, the cost of the contract may exceed 3,5 billion dollars, said Narek Avakian, an analyst at financial company AForex.
The “airplane” agreements of the PRC and the Russian Federation continue to torment journalists to this day.
Scott Harold and Lowell Schwartz on this matter a few days ago Wrote in “The Diplomat”: “Some journalists suggested that China expects to adapt the technologies used in the Su-35 engines for stealth fighters that they are currently developing. As in the case of energy supplies, Russian officials through the press make it clear that while negotiations are continuing, their final results are likely to be known only by the end of the year. ”
In the latest issue of the Japanese newspaper "Nikkei" says on the purchase by China of twenty-four Su-35 fighters of the latest development from Russia. True, the authors refer to the state media of China. The Japanese expressly point out that the goal of the Chinese is “stuffing.”
“Su-35 has only recently entered service with the Russian army and is a concentration of secret military developments. Amazing what weapon Russia without a doubt sold to China. The news of this deal surprised weapons experts from around the world. ”
In fact, according to the Japanese, China wants to seize advanced technologies. An unnamed representative of the Self-Defense Forces of Japan says: “China is not at all interested in the fighters themselves. The true goal is to reproduce engine systems and radars and use them on our own production fighters. " And there is no need to purchase a large number of machines, if the sole purpose is to copy the internal equipment of "Sukhoi".
“At the initial stage of negotiations, China was talking about buying only four fighters, but the Russian side said that it“ would not sell at all if the amount was less than 48 ”. The Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who visited Russia on a visit, during talks with President Putin on March 22, nevertheless reduced their number to 24 fighters. ”
This is exactly how they see this situation in Japan - a country, we recall, which doesn’t like the strengthening of the PRC and is arguing with China over the Senkaku Islands.
And what about the Chinese?
The topic of bilateral relations between China and Russia, which received an impetus since the meeting of comrades Putin and Xi in Moscow, developed the other day, the agency Xinhua. It should be noted that the “plots” of the Su-35 or submarines were not even mentioned.
An extensive article describes the visit to China by a large Russian government delegation led by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Delegates came to China for the presentation of investment opportunities in Russia. With pathos, it is noted that China became the first country where Vladimir Putin made his first foreign visit outside the CIS after re-election as president, and Russia became the first stop on Xi Jinping’s foreign tour after he assumed the head of state.
It was said about strategic cooperation. As deputy director of the Institute of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Academy of Social Sciences of China Li Yongquan noted in an interview with Xinhua, now both China and Russia view the intensification of bilateral cooperation as strategic chances. The expert noted: "High-level political mutual trust will undoubtedly provide significant opportunities for cooperation between the business circles of the two countries, and expanding bilateral cooperation is a natural choice of both parties." The Minister of Commerce of China, Gao Huchen, speaking at the Russian-Chinese investment conference held in Beijing on April 9 in 15, said that China and Russia view the deepening of practical cooperation as a central task in the development of bilateral relations in the future, and investment cooperation is a priority bilateral practical cooperation.
It is noted that according to Chinese statistics, between China and Russia in recent years there has been a favorable trend of intensification of investment cooperation. Its scale is close to 30 billion US dollars. Over the past ten years, China has maintained more than 40 percent rates of average annual investment growth in the non-financial sectors of Russia. The Russian Federation, according to Xinhua, has become one of the largest countries in terms of the growth rate of attracted investments from China.
However, it is noted that, given the high level of political relations and huge potential opportunities in the markets of the two countries, the current level of investment cooperation between Russia and China remains low. Chairman of the Board of the Russian-Chinese Center for Trade and Economic Cooperation Sergey Sanakoev expressed the opinion that the main task now is to create an atmosphere of higher level trust in commercial circles and to demonstrate the readiness of the two governments to ensure economic security. And Igor Shuvalov said that the main purpose of his visit to China is to implement the agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries and to demonstrate to the Chinese enterprises the great investment opportunities of Russia: “We want the myth about the alertness of Chinese investors to the Russian economy to be dispelled.”
One of the main tasks of the recent visit of the Russian delegation to the PRC was also mentioned - attracting Chinese investors to participate in large investment projects in the Far East. The Russian delegation, writes Xinhua, introduced Chinese businessmen to investment opportunities in this region: the sphere of transport, local energy, telecommunications, and finally, the field of seaport construction and social infrastructure. Government representatives expressed the readiness of the Russian government to provide a number of tax incentives in order to attract investors to the Far East and Baikal.
The above mentioned Scott Herold and Lowell Schwartz (by the way, these are political scientists, employees of the RAND Corporation brain trust) notethat cooperation between Russia and China, despite the enormous energy resources of Russia, the rapidly growing needs of China, the geographical proximity of the two countries and the strategic advantages of ground supplies, which the US fleet cannot interfere with, is limited. Russia remains only the fourth largest supplier of oil to China and serves only as a source for 8% of its oil imports. In the field of natural gas, the level of cooperation is even lower.
“... the head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, said that Russia and China have not yet signed a final contract with the obligations of both parties. The stumbling block has once again become the pricing structure in Russian gas exports. Russia wants to set prices at the level of the lucrative deals that it makes with European countries, but China wants to get gas much cheaper. In the past, price disagreements more than once sabotaged the negotiations, therefore, it is still possible that the deal will collapse before the end of 2013. ”
As for the arms sector, according to analysts, Beijing wants to pay as little as possible for modern military technology and equipment. Russia wants to increase the supply of arms to China, but at the same time intends to avoid deals that may endanger its own security.
The supply of Russian weapons to China, political scientists remind, has noticeably decreased after the 2007 year: Beijing began to demand not only equipment, but also technology.
The Americans also note the likelihood of cooperation between Beijing and Moscow in the field of creating, together with other BRICS countries, an analogue of the IMF and the World Bank for the “developing world”.
In conclusion, analysts shrug their shoulders:
“... it is not yet clear whether Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow led to new strategically significant agreements. During the summit, Chinese officials and journalists made a number of statements that hinted that important agreements had been reached in the field of energy and the arms trade. However, according to the Russian press, these statements were premature, and the parties still have difficult negotiations ahead. ”
Historical suspicions, mutual distrust and differences in strategic interests, analysts of RAND Corporation point out, may prevent China and Russia from expanding cooperation.
Thus, a possible strategic alliance of Russia and China, which is very worried about the West, remains under question mark.
So far, we can say with confidence about one thing: the main (and open) goal of Xi Jinping’s March visit to Moscow was to expand Chinese purchases of Russian hydrocarbons. Mostly today the Celestial buys oil in saudi arabia. It should be added to this that the Chinese are constantly thinking about diversifying the acquisition of energy resources: they do not accept dependence on suppliers.
As for the Su-35, then we will hear about this “framework agreement”.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
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- especially for topwar.ru