Defense minister Pavel Grachev in his meeting with chairman of the Chinese Central Military Council Liu Huaqin in Moscow yesterday said military cooperation between the two countries has made "China one of Russia’s leading partners in military and technical cooperation." The closed-door talks were attended by the chief of General Staff, Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov, First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin, Air Force commander Gen. Pyotr Deinekin, and Navy commander Adm. Feliks Gromov. (15)
Grachev is fronting for Russia’s arms manufacturers, who are looking to China as their potentially most lucrative customer. China’s economy is booming, it has a huge appetite for weaponry, and a new willingness to go along with Russia’s need for payment in cash, rather than in kind. The Chinese delegation is winding up a tour of Tula and some frenetic shopping for its arms design bureaus. Talk of promoting trust notwithstanding, Russia reportedly does not want to accede to Chinese requests for more arms technology transfer for arms production in China, particularly in the aviation industry. This suggests that Russia’s political leaders are still undecided whether China in the long term will turn out to be an ally or an enemy.
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