Evolution of Sino-Russian Defense Cooperation since the Cold War

Ever since 1989, when Russia and China agreed to normalize relations after thirty years of hostility, defense cooperation has remained a cornerstone of their relationship. Within this context, the two have held high-level discussions on international security, negotiated important security-related agreements, conducted joint military exercises, and perhaps most strikingly engaged in large-scale arms trade. Although defense cooperation has evolved considerably in both form and substance throughout this period, it has remained central to the relationship.

Russian leaders frequently cite defense cooperation as an important element in affirming their strategic partnership; however, critics assert that the benefits are often overstated, and are substantially outweighed by the costs.1 They contend especially that sending weapons to China is dangerous because such weapons might someday be used against Russia itself. Such arguments have tended to overstate the harm and downplay the substantial benefits that Russia has received from defense cooperation. In fact, given its notable weaknesses and limited options, Russia has played a weak hand remarkably well. Defense cooperation has assisted Russia to achieve three critical strategic goals: 1) reestablishing and maintaining constructive relations with China; 2) averting catastrophic collapse of its defense industry; and 3) supporting the development of China’s sea denial capability, which has kept China strategically focused on its maritime regions and away from Russia. This article examines the evolution and implications of defense cooperation since the Cold War, primarily from Russia’s perspective.

Scope of Defense Cooperation

Defense cooperation here is defined broadly to encompass three distinct forms of Sino-Russian military-related interaction: 1) bilateral trade in military assets, including sales of military equipment and components, licensed production rights, and technology transfer; 2) direct military cooperation, including joint military exercises, military exchanges for education and training, and sharing of intelligence; and 3) negotiation of agreements governing important aspects of their military-security relationship. While Russia and China engage in other forms of security cooperation, such as jointly opposing UN sanctions against Syria, such activities are beyond the scope of this article. Since 1989, defense cooperation has unfolded in three distinct phases. The first (1989 to 1995) was characterized by force reduction agreements, confidence-building measures, and resumption of arms transfers. The second (1996 to 2005) was highlighted by announcement of a “strategic partnership” in 1996. Arms transfers also reached their pinnacle during this phase. The third phase (2006 to present) saw the emphasis shift from arms transfers to direct military cooperation, especially joint military exercises.

Phase I—1989-1995—Normalization

Sino-Soviet defense cooperation can be traced back to the Cold War, when the two entered into a treaty of alliance in 1950. Once the Korean War started, the Soviets began transferring significant amounts of military technology to China. By the mid-50s, the Soviets were delivering weapons, military technology, and even technical assistance for construction of new defense enterprises. They also supported China’s nuclear program;2 however, relations deteriorated rapidly starting in the late 1950s, virtually collapsing in the early 1960s, leading to a suspension of defense cooperation, which would remain in effect until 1990.3

By the mid-80s, Gorbachev concluded that Russia could no longer afford hostile relations with both China and the West, and desperately needed to reduce its defense spending to gain breathing space to reform its economy.4 China’s leadership had previously signaled that it was open to rapprochement, but only after Russia had resolved disputes over Afghanistan, Cambodia, and border deployments—the so-called “three obstacles.” By withdrawing from Afghanistan, which was completed by February 1989, pressuring Vietnam to pull out of Cambodia, and announcing significant force reductions on the Sino-Soviet border, Gorbachev set the stage for an historic reconciliation, which came in May 1989, when he met Deng Xiaoping in Beijing.

Normalization was followed by the resumption of defense cooperation, which soon became the cornerstone of Sino-Russian relations. During Phase 1, the two concluded a series of agreements to achieve force reductions and restore confidence. First, they committed to refrain from the use of force against one another as a means of resolving disputes.5 In 1991 and 1994, the two signed landmark agreements, thereby achieving an historic breakthrough in resolving most of their longstanding border disputes.6 Improving relations allowed Russia to unilaterally cut its forces in the Far East by 250,000 troops, providing much needed economic relief.7 The two also agreed to refrain from first use of nuclear weapons against one another, and to discontinue targeting one another with such weapons.8

Russia and China also moved quickly to resume their arms trading relationship. Drawing on its observations of the Gulf War, China was eager to upgrade its military. Until it could modernize its defense industry, however, it would have to rely primarily on imported weapons. But after the Tiananmen Square crackdown, the West imposed an arms embargo on China, which left it with few good alternatives. Fortunately for China, Russia was willing to supply China with the kinds of military equipment that China wanted. After the fall, Russia’s defense industry had been virtually cut off from state funding. Desperate for alternative sources, the industry was now looking to export markets for survival. This confluence of events created the perfect impetus for resumption of arms sales. In April 1990, a Chinese military delegation visited Moscow for the first time in thirty years.9 That same year, Russia sold China 4 Su-27 combat aircraft and 24 Mi-17 helicopters.10 In December 1992, the two signed a “Memorandum on Principles of Military-Technical Cooperation,” which provided a framework for future arms transfers.11 This was followed by additional sales of Su-27 aircraft, S-300 air defense systems, T-72 tanks, IL-76 transport aircraft, and Kilo-class diesel submarines.12 In 1995, Russia granted China a license to manufacture 200 Su-27 combat aircraft in China. Russia also agreed to provide spare parts for China’s aging inventory of 1950s-era Soviet equipment.13 All in all, China purchased, on average, nearly USD 1.2 billion per year in military equipment during this period.14

By contrast, direct military cooperation remained limited during Phase 1. The two began a series of high-level consultations between their general staffs. Military exchanges were also resumed between the respective service branches.15 Russia sent military advisers to China for training purposes, and allowed Chinese military officers to attend schools in Russia.16 The two agreed to resume intelligence sharing.17 China also admitted Russian scientists to work on its defense programs, while sending Chinese technicians to work at Russian defense plants.18 While limited, these contacts helped to maintain good relations.

Phase 1 assessment

Russia gained much from the resolution of old disputes and improvement in relations; however, defense cooperation also generated new problems for it. China took advantage of Russia’s economic weakness to obtain new weapons relatively cheaply, sometimes using barter as payment. China also successfully pressured Russia to transfer technology, which helped China’s defense industry narrow the gap with Russia’s. China was already actively reverse engineering and cloning Russian equipment.19 Some Russian politicians also worried about arming a potential future adversary. For example, Alexei Arbatov, a deputy from the Yabloko movement, warned that while China might seem friendly today, “at a [sic] appropriate moment nothing would be able to prevent China from turning to the North.”20 Yet defense cooperation provided substantial benefits for Russia as well. Most importantly, it helped to reinforce rapprochement, virtually eliminating the possibility of near-term armed conflict with China. Resolution of border disputes also enabled Russia to drastically reduce its military forces along the border, thereby saving significant financial resources in the process. Defense cooperation created a “safe rear” for Russia, enabling it to focus its military resources in more important areas, such as Chechnya. Moreover, while revenues from arms sales were insufficient to avert a significant contraction of Russia’s defense industry, they provided the funding needed to preserve the most important elements of the industry. Arms sales also provided the R&D funding needed to develop new weapons.

Furthermore, during Phase 1, the risks of selling arms to China were still relatively manageable. Certainly, the Chinese benefitted from an influx of more advanced Russian weapons. At this stage, however, Russia’s military still maintained a substantial technological edge over China’s.21 Likewise, despite technology transfers, China’s defense industry remained well behind Russia’s in many important technologies. Finally, the weapons that China purchased during Phase 1 (primarily air and naval assets) were not really suitable for conducting ground operations against Russia. They were purchased primarily to support maritime operations against Taiwan.

In fact, Russian arms had already helped China to make significant progress in improving its maritime capabilities. While S-300 air defense systems protected the Chinese mainland against Taiwanese air strikes, Su-27s would counter Taiwan’s recently acquired F-16 aircraft fleet. Meanwhile, China’s new submarines and destroyers allowed it to harass sea traffic in the Taiwan Strait. Still, at this stage, China’s power projection capabilities remained quite limited, and wholly insufficient to alter the strategic balance in the Taiwan Strait.

Phase 2—1996-2005—Strategic Partnership

During the early 1990s, Russian and Chinese policy began to shift in ways that would ultimately lead to a corresponding change in the scope and pace of defense cooperation. After the fall, despite having normalized relations with China, Yeltsin initially decided that it would be in Russia’s best interest to pursue closer integration with the West. He hoped that the West would accept Russia as an equal partner and provide greatly needed financial assistance, but when the West failed to provide the expected support and instead began pursuing policies, such as NATO expansion, inimical to Russia’s interests, Yeltsin reexamined his Chinese option.22

During the same period, Chinese relations with the West had also become increasingly strained. US objections to China’s human rights policy and US Taiwan policy were especially irksome to China’s leaders. The denouement came in March 1996, when the United States dispatched two carrier battle groups to counter Chinese missile exercises aimed at thwarting Taiwan’s growing independence movement. This confluence of events led to the announcement of a “strategic partnership” between Russia and China in 1996.

During Phase 2, as befitting the new strategic partnership, defense cooperation intensified, as exemplified by a number of new agreements. In 1996, the new partners agreed to refrain from entering military alliances targeted at one another.23 Russia also signed an agreement to assist China to rebuild manufacturing facilities constructed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s,24 and that same year, the two agreed to a pledge of non-aggression and limitations on military exercises within a 100km zone of the border.25 In 1997 they agreed to further reductions in border forces, capping them at historically low levels.26 Subsequently, deteriorating relations with the West over NATO enlargement, Yugoslavia, Taiwan, and missile defense led to even closer ties. In 2001, the two concluded a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which further improved ties and led to final demarcation of the border.27 In the same year, Russia and China established the SCO, which would lead to a significant expansion of defense cooperation in Central Asia.

The pace of arms trade between Russia and China also quickened during Phase 2, driven primarily by Russia’s continuing need for revenue, China’s rapid economic growth, and its determination to enhance its sea denial capability. In 1996, China purchased two Sovremenny-class destroyers.28 In 2000, the two signed a 15-year Military Cooperation Plan to expand the provision of military equipment, technology licenses, and joint R&D.29 That same year, Chinese arms purchases totaled USD 1.7 billion.30 In 2001, arms sales reached a new high of USD 3 billion. In 2002, the two announced a major new arms sale valued at over USD 4 billion for the purchase of two additional Sovremenny-class destroyers equipped with Sunburn anti-ship missiles, eight Kilo-class submarines, and up to 40 Su-30MKK combat aircraft. In 2005, arms sales reached an all-time high of nearly USD 3.2 billion. China purchased, on average, nearly USD 2 billion per year in military equipment from 1999-2005.31 During Phase 2, Russia continued to provide significant technology support for China, including licenses for the production of helicopters, anti-tank and anti-ship missiles, as well as design assistance for Chinese airframes and avionics systems. In addition, up to 2,000 Russian scientists reportedly were working in Chinese defense plants. Consequently, by the end of Phase 2, China’s defense industry had made substantial progress in modernization.

Direct military cooperation also increased during Phase 2. The two continued to hold high-level meetings on a variety of defense-related issues. General staff meetings were likewise held on a regular basis. In 1999, the two agreed to new exchanges of military personnel. Pursuant to this, large numbers of PLA officers attended Russian military schools, while Russia sent many officers to study in China.32 There was also an increase in the exchange of Russian and Chinese scientists and engineers.33 Such activities improved trust, strengthened ties, and paved the way for further Sino-Russian defense cooperation.

Phase 2 assessment

Russia benefitted greatly from improved defense relations, especially from the dramatic increase in the scale of arms trade. Yet, the consequences of defense cooperation were increasingly criticized. China’s power had grown significantly during Phase 2, leading critics to question the wisdom of continuing to supply arms to such a formidable potential adversary. For example, in 2003, Konstantin Makienko, a military scholar, stated, “we make financial gains but at the same time actually fatten our closest neighbor and potential adversary with arms.”34 Alexander Khramchikhin criticized China’s ongoing practice of cloning Russian systems.35 Alexei Khazbiev, worried that technology transfer had damaged Russia’s interests by enabling China to compete more effectively against Russia in the global arms markets.36 Still, defense cooperation provided many benefits for Russia during Phase 2. While the strategic partnership continued to suffer from a certain degree of mistrust, defense cooperation helped Russia and China maintain a constructive relationship. The two made substantial progress in further demilitarizing the border, which helped keep tensions at a low level. Establishment of the SCO also reinforced the sense of partnership, giving China a continuing stake in the relationship.

Moreover, revenue from arms sales had proved crucial in enabling Russia to keep its defense industry going while state funding was still virtually non-existent.37 Such revenue also provided the R&D funding needed for development of a whole new generation of weapons, thereby setting the stage for a resurgence of arms exports and future rearmament of its own military.38 Russia’s increased R&D also helped it to maintain its technological lead over China in certain key weapon categories. Certainly Chinese cloning remained a problem, but fear of Chinese competition in export markets turned out to have been significantly overstated. Far from falling behind, Russia maintained a substantial lead over China in export markets during Phase 2.

In addition, while Russia’s leaders could no longer ignore China’s growing military power, they could take comfort in knowing that such weapons were better suited to China’s sea denial strategy, and were not aimed at Russia.39 In fact, the large influx of Russian arms and technology significantly improved China’s sea denial capability. China now had the combat aircraft and missile technology to conduct large-scale precision strikes against Taiwan. Moreover, Russian warships, armed with sophisticated cruise missiles, gave China sea denial capability out to a range of 400 miles. China could now significantly hinder or delay US intervention in the event of a future Taiwan crisis.40

Phase 3—2006-present—Strategic Shift

By 2006 the strategic partnership was showing increasing signs of strain. China had modernized much of its defense industry, and was fast becoming less dependent on Russian military equipment.41 Consequently, China was now less willing to settle for anything but the most advanced Russian systems. It increasingly demanded technology transfer as a condition of doing business. Concomitantly, Russia had also begun to reassess the relationship. By the start of Phase 3, Russia could no longer afford to ignore China’s growing military power. China was still seen as a rising competitor on the global arms markets. Russia also remained irritated by China’s persistent cloning of Russian systems. For these reasons, Russia was increasingly reluctant to provide China with additional military equipment, especially advanced weapons, which it had yet to provide to its own military.

The scope and level of defense cooperation shifted once again. For the first time, the two failed to negotiate any major new defense agreements, although they concluded several lesser compacts. For example, in 2008, the two signed a new agreement to protect intellectual property rights.42 That same year, Russia and China proposed a draft treaty to prevent a costly new arms race in space, but the proposal was not taken up by the United States. In 2011, a Russian delegation visited China to discuss ways to improve quality control deficiencies in shared production lines. Arms trade between Russia and China declined even more precipitously during Phase 3. The year 2006 proved to be the final year for large-scale arm transfers, with total volume reaching USD 2.5 billion. In 2007 and 2008, sales declined to USD 1.5 billion and USD 1.4 billion respectively. Sales fell even more sharply in 2009 and 2010, to well below USD 1 billion per year. Although sales have started to edge back up recently, the nature of Russian-Chinese arms trade has shifted. While Russia continues to offer China new weapons, thus far China has purchased very few of them, holding out instead for more advanced equipment. Meanwhile, Russia continues to provide China with components and spare parts.43 For example, China continues to purchase aircraft engines from Russia, as in 2011, when it purchased 123 AL-31FN aircraft engines from Russia valued at USD 500 million.44

By contrast, direct military cooperation has assumed greater importance in Sino-Russian defense cooperation. The two continue to hold high-level military consultations on various security matters. They also have announced plans to intensify cooperation on military education,45 but the most significant development has been the increasing level of joint military exercises held during Phase 3. Since 2005 the two have held several “Peace Mission” exercises under the auspices of the SCO, which demonstrate the growing importance of this form of cooperation. They have also conducted military exercises outside of the context of the SCO, such as the recent, highly-publicized, series of joint naval exercises held in the Mediterranean and East China Sea. Collectively, joint exercises have encompassed counter-terrorism, combined arms operations, tactical air support, anti-submarine warfare, counter-insurgency, and amphibious warfare.46 Such exercises have provided a vehicle for the more experienced Russian military to assist China in enhancing its military capability. To a degree, joint military exercises have replaced arms sales as the focal point of defense cooperation.

Phase 3 assessment

A significant shift occurred in the emphasis of defense cooperation away from arms trade and towards joint conduct of military exercises. The decline in arms trade represented a significant setback for Russia, both in terms of lost revenue and in its negative impact on relations with China. Some critics of defense cooperation felt vindicated. They had counseled against Russia becoming too dependent on arms sales to China,47 and had argued that technology transfer would enable China to compete more effectively in global arms trade. In fact, China recently has become the fourth largest exporter in this market.48

The decline in Russian arms sales to China has not been the disaster some critics proclaimed it would be. Russia has been able to absorb these cuts because it is no longer dependent on China, having succeeded in diversifying its client base. During Phase 3, total revenues from other clients significantly exceeded lost revenues from China.49 Moreover, during Phase 3, state procurement finally resumed. Spending on new weapons for the Russian military now surpasses total revenues from arms sales by a large margin. Finally, Russia continues to sell China a large number of military components, and occasionally even completed weapon systems, such as the sale of 52 Mi-171 combat helicopters, in 2011, for USD 700 million.50 It remains possible that large-scale sales of completed weapons to China will resume. China still struggles to produce certain kinds of military equipment, such as aircraft engines, quiet submarine technology, integrated air defense systems, and advanced radar systems, and its alternative sources remain limited.51 The two continue to explore potential new sales, some sizable, such as the proposed sale of Su-35 aircraft that has been in the works now for several years.52 Nor has China yet supplanted Russia on the global arms market. Although it has made inroads at the lower end of the market, Russia maintains a sizable lead.53 Moreover, although the pause in arms sales has certainly generated tensions between Russia and China, it is a testament to the strength of the relationship that defense cooperation has continued in other areas. The increase in joint military exercises has to some degree replaced arms trade at the center of defense cooperation.

Finally, China remained focused on its maritime regions during Phase 3. Its sea denial capability has now matured, and this has altered the strategic balance in the Western Pacific. China now possesses the ability to threaten Taiwan directly with sustained air and missile strikes. It also may have acquired the air and naval power needed to support an invasion, although it still lacks the necessary amphibious capability. Finally, China can now use its considerable air and naval power to strike US bases, ships and aircraft out to the first Island Chain, which could seriously hinder US naval operations in the region. In response, the United States announced a “pivot to Asia” and committed to developing a new Air-Sea Battle counterstrategy.54

Final Assessment

Having followed the course of Sino-Russia defense cooperation since 1989, we can now assess the extent to which the benefits of these programs for Russia have outweighed the attendant costs. It seems clear that defense cooperation has been a net plus for Russia, and will likely remain so at least in the short run. It has contributed enormously to helping Russia to achieve the three objectives specified in the introduction, and, thus far, this has more than offset the negative effects of this policy. First, defense cooperation has proved crucial in preserving Russia’s defense industry. Since 1989, Russia has received over USD 30 billion in revenue from arms sales to China.55 At first, such revenues were insufficient to prevent a major contraction of the defense industry, although they allowed Russia to preserve its most important segments. Later, they greatly assisted Russia in rebuilding the industry and sustaining it until procurement could be restarted, also assisting it to develop an entire new generation of weapons, regain a dominant position in the global arms trade, and begin the process of modernizing its own military.

Defense cooperation also contributed to achieving better relations with China. Resolving border disputes and achieving demilitarization helped cement rapprochement, thereby significantly decreasing the threat of armed conflict. Moreover, the benefits of defense cooperation, first from arms sales, and later through joint military exercises, have given both an incentive to maintain a constructive relationship while avoiding dangerous disputes.

Geopolitically, it, arguably, would have been better for Russia had the two built a closer partnership. Without it, the relationship continues to be plagued by a certain ambivalence, wariness, and mistrust. Defense cooperation has not prevented Russia from becoming fearful of China’s growing economic, political, and military power. Nevertheless, Russia has continually found ways to make the partnership attractive to China, which has helped keep relations on a solid footing, allowing Russia to continue to benefit from it.

Finally, defense cooperation has helped Russia to manage the increasing risk imposed by China’s growing military power. Defense cooperation has contributed to a shift in the balance of conventional military power towards China; yet Russia has taken measures to counter this, such as limiting sales of advanced systems. Moreover, while Russia has had very little influence in China’s decision to focus on its maritime regions, Russia’s security has benefitted from it. Since 1996, China has concentrated chiefly on building forces necessary to support its sea denial strategy. Russia directly supported these efforts by providing China with the kinds of weapons suitable for such a strategy, which are less useful in a potential land campaign against Russia. Moreover, China’s maritime buildup has fueled a growing arms race with the United States, as reflected in the US “pivot to Asia” and the development of the “Air Sea Battle” counterstrategy. This dynamic seems likely to continue, which would keep China focused more on potential threats to its east than on its less threatening neighbor to the north for the foreseeable future.


1. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China: From Yeltsin to Putin,” Asian Survey 46, no. 3 (2006): 479.

2. Sergei Goncharenko, “Sino-Soviet Military Cooperation,” in Brothers In Arms: The Rise and Fall of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1945-1963, ed. Odd Arne Westad (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1998),155, 157.

3. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences: The Evolution of Moscow’s China Policy from Brezhnev to Yeltsin (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001), 8.

4. Alexei D. Voskressenski, “The Three Structural Stages of Russo-Chinese Cooperation after the Collapse of the USSR and Prospects for the Emergence of a Fourth Stage,” Eurasian Review, no. 5 (Nov. 2012): 3; Kevin Ryan, “Russo-Chinese Defense Relations: The View from Moscow,” in The Future of China-Russia Relations, ed. James Bellacqua (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010), 181.

5. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences, 104-105. Final resolution of border disputes did not occur until 2004. See Linda Jakobsen, Paul Holtom, Dean Knox and Jingchao Peng, China’s Energy and Security Relations: Hopes, Frustrations and Uncertainties (SIPRI Policy Paper 29, October 2011), 2, fn. 9; Peter Ferdinand, “Sunset, Sunrise: China and Russia Construct a New Relationship,” International Affairs 83, no. 5 (2007): 846.

6. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences, 122, 126; Alexander A. Sergounin and Sergey V. Subbotin, Russian Arms Transfers to East Asia in the 1990’s, SIPRI Research Report No. 15 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 91; Lt. Daniel W. Harkins, “Sino-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century: Prospects and Issues,” (Master’s thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, September, 2010), 13, http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA531615.

7. Jing-dong Yuan, Sino-Russian Confidence Building Measures: A Preliminary Analysis, Liu Institute for Global Issues (Working Paper No. 10, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, January 1998), 7, http://www.ligi.ubc.ca/sites/liu/files/Publications/webwp20.pdf.

8. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences, 126.

9. Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties: The View from Beijing,” in The Future of China-Russia Relations, ed. James Bellacqua, 207.

10. Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners: Russian-Chinese Relations in the Post-Soviet Era (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), 93-94; Jyotsna Bakshi, “Russia-China Military Technical Cooperation: Implications for India,” Strategic Analysis 24, no. 4 (2000): 633.

11. Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties,” 208.

12. Rajon Menon, “The Strategic Convergence between Russia and China,” Survival 39, no. 2 (1997): 111; Alexander A. Sergounin and Sergey V. Subbotin, Russian Arms Transfers to East Asia in the 1990’s, 132-133.

13. Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners, 95-96.

14. FY04 Report to the Congress on PRC Military Activities, 32, http://www.defense.gov/pubs/d20040528prc.pdf.

15. Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners, 111.

16. Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners, 95.

17. Alexander A. Sergounin and Sergey V. Subbotin, Russian Arms Transfers to East Asia in the 1990’s, 91.

18. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” 481.

19. Stephen Blank, The Dynamics of Russian Weapon Sales to China, US Army War College March 4, 1997, 24.

20. Alexander Lukin, “Russia’s Image of China and Russian-Chinese Relations,” East Asia 17, no. 1 (1999): 29.

21. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” 481.

22. Dmitri Trenin, “True Partners? How Russia and China See Each Other,” Centre for European Reform (February 2012), 3, http://carnegieendowment.org/files/Trenin_CER_Eng.pdf.

23. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences, 124.

24. Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties,” 204.

25. Jing-dong Yuan, Sino-Russian Confidence Building Measures, 10.

26. Elizabeth Wishnick, Mending Fences, 132. They agreed to a cap of 130,000 troops, but Russia’s quota was shared with the three Central Asian states that bordered China, with Russia’s set at 119,400 troops.

27. Ariel Cohen, “The Russia-China Friendship and Cooperation Treaty: A Strategic Shift in Eurasia?” Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2001/07/the-russia-china-friendship-and-cooperation-treaty.

28. Stephen Blank, The Dynamics of Russian Weapon Sales to China, 22.

29. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” citing American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, DC, China Reform Monitor, no. 277 (February 15, 2000), 478-479.

30. Unless otherwise stated, figures are SIPRI trade-in-value amounts taken from Linda Jakobsen, et al., China’s Energy and Security Relations, 14.

31. Lt. Daniel W. Harkins, “Sino-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century,” 66-67.

32. Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners, 99; Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties,” 208.

33. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” 481; Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties,” 214.

34. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” 482, citing “Russian Official Sees China Remaining Major Arms Buyer,” Interfax News Agency (Moscow), November 20, 1998, in FBIS, Daily Report/Russia, document no. FBIS-SOV-98-324, November 20, 1998.

35. Cited in Guanyu, “Arms Sales to China: Russia in a Quandary,” March 27, 2012, http://guanyu9.blogspot.com/2012/03/arms-sales-to-china-russia-in-quandary.html.

36. Writing in Ekspert magazine, cited in Gregory Feifer, “Russia Analysts Say Burgeoning Arms Sales Pose Security Threat,” Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, February 17, 2003, https://www.google.com/#q=russia+analysts+say+burgeoning+arms+sales.

37. “A 1996 report estimated that [arms sales] provided work for over 400,000 employees of defense enterprises.” Jeanne L. Wilson, Strategic Partners, 105 (referencing Anton Surikov, “Beijing is Purchasing War for Itself,” Pravda-5, 17 (September 1996): 3 FBIS-SOV-211-S).

38. Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China, 490. For example, funds from licensed production of the Su-27 paid for development of the Su-35. Loro Harta, “From Russia without Love; Russia Resumes Weapons Sales to China,” Real Clear Defense, December 12, 2013, http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2013/12/12/from_russia_without_love_russia_resumes_weapons_sales_to_china__106998-comments.html.

39. Jing-dong Yuan, “Sino-Russian Defense Ties,” 205-206; Paradorn Rangsimaporn, “Russia’s Debate on Military-Technological Cooperation with China,” 481.

40. 2007 Report to Congress of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, November 2007, 100, http://origin.www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/annual_reports/2007-Report-to-Congress.pdf.

41. Tai Ming Cheung, “China’s Emergence as a Defense Technological Power: Introduction,” Journal of Strategic Studies 34. no. 3 (June 17, 2011), 296; Richard Rousseau, “The Tortuous Sino-Russian Arms Trade–Analysis,” Eurasia Review, June 9, 2012, http://www.eurasiareview.com/09062012-the-tortuous-sino-russian-arms-trade-analysis/.

42. Zachary Keck, “Putin Approves Sale of S-400 to China,” The Diplomat, April 11, 2014, http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/putin-approves-sale-of-s-400-to-china/.

43. Linda Jakobsen et al., China’s Energy and Security Relations, vi, 15, 6, 14, 19.

44. Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr, Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2004-2011, CRS Report R42678 (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, August 24, 2012), 10, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R42678.pdf.

45. Linda Jakobsen et al., China’s Energy and Security Relations, 23.

46. “Russian-Chinese Naval Training Exercise Begins in Mediterranean,” RIA Novosti, January 25, 2014, http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20140125/186916270/Russian-Chinese-Naval-Training-Exercise-Begins-in-Mediterranean.html; Jane Perlez, “China and Russia, in a Display of Unity, Hold Naval Exercise,” The New York Times, July 10, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/world/asia/china-and-russia-in-a-display-of-unity-hold-naval-exercises.html; Richard Weitz, “Military Exercises Under the SCO’s Charter,” Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, May 25, 2011, http://old.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/5565; Roger N. McDermott, “SCO ‘Peace Mission’ 2012 Promotes Security Myths,” FOI Memo 4040, July 2012, http://www.foi.se/Global/V%C3%A5r%20kunskap/S%C3%A4kerhetspolitiska%20studier/Ryssland/Briefings/RUFS%20Briefing%20No.%2014%20-%2012070.

47. Kevin Ryan, “Russo-Chinese Defense Relations,” 184, 193.

48. Siemon T. Wezeman and Pieter D. Wezeman, “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2013,” (SIPRI Fact Sheet, Mar. 2014), http://books.sipri.org/product_info?c_product_id=475.

49. Niclas Rolander, “Russia’s Arms Exports Grow,” The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303287804579443102858150332.

50. Vassily Kashin, “China’s Call for Arms,” Russia in Global Affairs, February 2014 (Russia’s defense industry receives 45 percent of its revenues from state orders, but only 22 percent from arms sales).

51. Tai Ming Cheung, “China’s Emergence as a Defense Technological Power,” 296; Alexander Burikov and Torsten Geizer, “Maritime Strategies of Rising Powers: Developments in China and Russia,” Third World Quarterly, July 25, 2013, 1049; Charlemagne, “The EU and Arms for China,” The Economist, February 1, 2010; “The EU Arms Embargo on China,” SIPRI Report, last updated on November 20, 2012, http://www.sipri.org/databases/embargoes/eu_arms_embargoes/china.

52. Zachary Keck, “Russia to Sell China Su-35 Multirole Fighter Jets,” The Diplomat, September 10, 2013, http://thediplomat.com/2013/09/russia-to-sell-china-su-35-multirole-fighter-jets/; Putin recently approved, in principle, the sale of S-400 air defense systems to China, although the deal has not yet been finalized. Zachary Keck, “Putin Approves Sale of S-400 to China,” The Diplomat, April, 11, 2014, http://thediplomat.com/2014/04/putin-approves-sale-of-s-400-to-china/.

53. Siemon T. Wezeman and Pieter D. Wezeman, “Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2013.”

54. See “2013 Report to Congress of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission,” November 2013, 232-233, 337-338; “2012 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission,” November 2012, 144-146, 254-255.

55. David Lague, “Russia and China Rethink Arms Deals,” The New York Times, March 2, 2008, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/02/world/asia/02iht-arms.1.10614237.html?pagewanted=all; Linda Jakobsen et al., China’s Energy and Security Relations, 14.