Russia Helping China to Build a Missile Defense System

By Nicole Hao

The Kremlin recently announced that Russia would radically enhance China’s defense capabilities, just days after China showed off its missiles at its Oct. 1 military parade as part of festivities for the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s rule. Commentators analyzed that the move signals Moscow and Beijing furthering their cooperation to counter the United States.

Russian president Vladimir Putin said at the Valdai Discussion Club, an international discussion forum, held on Oct. 3 in Sochi that his government was helping China to build a missile defense system to detect and warn of ballistic missile launches, which would be composed of an array of ground-based radars and space satellites.

“This is a very serious thing that will radically increase China’s defense capability,” Putin said.

Putin claimed that the system would be able to detect the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, and “right now, only the U.S. and Russia have such systems.”

Missile defense systems can detect, track, intercept, and destroy attacking missiles.

China currently does not have a missile defense system that can cover the entire country, however it did purchase six batches of Russian-made S-400 Triumf air-defense systems in 2014.

Sergei Boyev, director-general of Russia’s major weapons manufacturer Vympel, confirmed to Russia’s state-run news agency TASS on Oct. 4 that Vympel was working on “modelling” the country’s missile defense system for China.

“We can’t talk in detail about it because of confidentiality agreements,” Boyev said.

TASS did, however, report that Boyev designed Russia’s missile attack warning system, which can detect attacks on state and military command posts; provide information to Moscow’s missile defense system; and warn about space objects.

Russia’s ground-based radar stations can detect missiles in flight in a range of up to 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles), according to TASS.


Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, declined to tell reporters when the system that Putin described would be operational in China, but said that the move highlighted Russia’s close ties with China.

“Russia has special relations with China of advanced partnership…. including [in] the most sensitive [areas] linked to military-technical cooperation and security and defense capabilities,” Peskov said at a press conference on Oct. 4.

Russia and China share a 4,200-km (2,600-mile) border. The two countries have had a complex relationship, ranging from wariness to mutual cooperation.

Joint Combat?

The Chinese communist regime just celebrated its 70th anniversary on Oct. 1, in which it arranged a grand military parade and showed its muscle by displaying newly developed weapons, including the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41 or CSS-X-10) solid-fueled road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile.

The DF-4 has an operational range of 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers (7,456 to 9320 miles), which makes it the world’s longest-range missile and can cover almost all targets on earth from China, according to Chinese state-run media Xinhua.

U.S.-based commentator Tang Jingyuan told The Epoch Times that Russia and China has cooperated closely in recent months to counter the United States.

“It’s obvious that Chinese government and Russia are teaming up to compete in military with the United States,” Tang said.

Tang added that both countries have strained relationships with the United States: Beijing is struggling with Washington in trade talks, while Moscow is suffering from U.S. sanctions imposed after it occupied the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014.

“Both the Kremlin and Zhongnanhai treats the White House as their enemy, and they are preparing to fight with it,” Tang said.

In recent months, Beijing and Moscow has announced more mutual deals. According to the Kremlin, the total bilateral trade between Russia and China reached $108 billion in 2018, 25 percent higher than 2017. It was also the first time that trade between the two countries reached more than $100 billion. China is also Russia’s largest trading partner.

In June, Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited Russia and called Putin his “best and bosom friend,” adding that he cherished their “deep friendship.”

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