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Exhibition "Weapons and Security": Myths and the Reality of the Chinese Defense Forces

The "Arms and Security" exhibition, recently concluded at the international exhibition center in Kyiv, has pleased the specialists and ordinary visitors with a wide range of weapons: from armored combat vehicles to unmanned aerial vehicles and robotic systems. Taking into account the urgent need of the Ukrainian Army in modern weapons of arms, more and more foreign manufacturers are ready to offer their products in the Ukrainian market.

True, besides the Chinese ...

The exhibition demonstrated that, given the activity of Western companies, the activity of the defense industrial complex (ОПК) is strikingly different from China, and, as if by a top management team, does not offer its products to Ukraine at all. It turned out that among the 500 companies represented, from the Celestial was just two. At the same time, it is difficult to attribute to OPK: one of them is a factory for the production of camouflage clothes and caps, the second - the manufacturer of radio stations and radio systems Hytera.

When communicating with a Hytera representative, it turned out that the company is producing communications equipment for civilian consumers. During the conversation, it was found out that among the subsidiaries of Hytera there is also a manufacturer of military products that comes to the arsenal of land units of the tactical link of the People's Liberation Army of China, but the military component of Hytera's activity is not officially disclosed.

Asked about the prospects of entering the Ukrainian market, the country's representative, one of the world's largest manufacturers of weapons and equipment, sighed and unsurely speaks exclusively of civilian products, which in turn yields to European and American producers: "The Ukrainian market is big, but the competition is not big." I ask: why, in your opinion, there are no other Chinese companies producing military products at the exhibition, or does China not consider Ukraine as a strategic partner? The question is a guilty smile.

What is the conclusion?

This means that talking about the so-called "strategic partnership" and the joint construction of the "One Belt, One Way" between our states is a myth. In the Chinese sense (at the same time, obviously at the highest level), Ukraine is a supplier of cheap raw materials (in the structure of Ukrainian exports - about 95% - raw materials), and some military and dual use technologies and products that are urgently needed by the NWAC. In this aspect, China receives from Ukraine all that it needs (including access to a large market) without giving anything in return except for civilian products such as smartphones and computers. The existing developments of the Chinese Defense Forces, which also require Ukraine, are closed to the Ukrainian market, and the Ukrainian military-technical cooperation with China is directed only to one side, the Chinese one.

This may be due to the following factors:

Firstly, Chinese products in most cases are a copy of outdated models of Soviet or Russian production, and in their quality, TTX and combat properties, they can not compete with samples from foreign and even Ukrainian producers. Therefore, China does not even make a minimum effort to promote its weapons in Ukraine (given the rather high competitive environment), but is actively selling to more favorable markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Tanzania) .

Second, it is likely that China does not deliver weapons to Ukraine, including, and because of the Russian factor, trying not to step over the "red line" in relations with Moscow. Therefore, it is possible that cooperation on the supply of weapons to Ukraine imposed a informal ban at the highest level of Chinese authorities. In this case, it is quite logical to ask whether there is a "strategic partnership" between China and Ukraine, whether it is only on paper and in the imagination of some Ukrainian officials.