Ukraine and China’s Warming Relations

KH-55

Christopher Isajiw looks at Chinese-Ukraine relations in a recent post for the Diplomat Blog examining specifically the transfer of military technologies as well as the increasingly closer trade and economic relations that have been developing over the years. He reports:

As well illustrated by Martin Shaefar’s article The Tryzub and the Dragon, in 1994, China was the fourth state to conclude an agreement on military and technical cooperation with Ukraine after 1991, when the former Soviet state was left with a large military-industrial complex. In 1998, a Soviet-era aircraft carrier,”Varyag” was sold to China. Reports have circulated that Ukraine in 2000 transferred several KH-55/AS-15 (NATO codenamed “Kent”) missiles to China. This was a significant technological acquisition for Beijing.  The KH-55 has a range of up to 3,000 km and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads. This acquisition may have greatly enhanced China’s development of missile technology which were sold illegally, with another 12 also sold to Iran. Since that time, Ukraine´s state company “Ukrspecexport” (with offices in China, Egypt, Pakistan, and India) has been fairly active in arms trading, The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) ranks Ukraine 12th in global arms trade between 2006 and 2010.

Another area of important cooperation and growing bilateral trade between Ukraine and China is agriculture and agricultural production technologies.  In June of this year, Chinese President Ju Jintao visited Ukraine during which both nations signed a variety of political and trade documents. Recently two deals worth almost $5.4 billion have propelled previously limited bilateral relations between Ukraine and China to the spotlight, establishing China as one of Kiev’s largest creditors. This comes amidst an increase of Chinese interest in the Central-Eastern Europe region. Bilateral trade stood at $8.5 billion in 2011, according to official data, a figure both countries hope to raise to $10 billion this year.

Diplomat 26JUL12

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