Putin boasts about bolstering China’s missile defence
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is helping China with a ballistic missile warning system.
Only the US and Russia have had missile warning networks, which involve ground-based radars and satellites to spot intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Putin said: “This is a very serious thing that will radically enhance China’s defence capability.”
China and Russia have built increasingly close political and military ties amid Donald Trump’s trade war with Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping during the summer called Putin his “best and bosom friend” praising their “deep friendship”.
But on China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, there was some scepticism.
“Once again, Russian bragging! Maybe it’s linked to their national culture,” one post said. “Chinese wouldn’t brag like that.”
China has unveiled military hardware this week, including a “hypersonic” missile which experts say might evade US defences.
The DF-17 missile can purportedly manoeuvre sharply at high speeds, making defence challenging.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the European Union needed US for protection from China and Russia. He told the Dutch Atlantic Association that the EU should increase funds to keep up Nato’s strength.
“We cannot guarantee our own security,” Rutte said, adding that member states should agree to Donald Trump’s demand.
“We do not like it, but the time when Europe could hide under the US security umbrella for a tiny amount of money is over”, Rutte said.
Trump has been telling Nato members to increase their contributions, cutting military spending in Europe to finance his border wall with Mexico.
In 2014, Nato members agreed to military spending at 2 per cent of their gross domestic product by 2024.
Dutch military spending has increased by 25 per cent since 2014, reaching just 1.2 per cent of GDP in 2018. Despite further investment “we have to be honest, that we won’t reach 2% by 2024″, Rutte added.
The US makes up 22 per cent of direct contributions.
The 1987 test ban treaty outlawed missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km aimed to reduce the ability of the Soviet Union and the US to launch a nuclear strike at short notice. The agreement was abandoned this summer.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, condemned a US test launch in August but said the Kremlin would not deploy any new missiles unless the US did first.
China also condemned the US missile test, saying it could lead to “another round of the arms race”, and have a “serious negative impact” on international and regional security.
Russia is deepening its ties with China. Picture credit: Kremlin