Russia is offering China assistance to develop an early warning missile attack system. How will this benefit China's military capabilities? Are there any plans between the two states to develop a joint missile defense system? This IFS Insight takes a look at these questions while also pondering over whether China and Russia are moving toward a military alliance.
- Russia is offering China assistance to develop its own early warning missile attack system. This marks a new area of strategic cooperation between the two states and markedly upgrades the potential for China’s strategic defense capabilities.
- It remains unclear what the exact nature and future trajectory of the early warning system initiative and Sino-Russian missile defense cooperation more broadly will be.
- China and Russia are unlikely to construct an integrated missile defense system akin to what the US has with several of its allies.
- Despite Western (recurring) concerns of a China-Russia military alliance in the making, there are several obstacles for this to happen. Nonetheless, the early warning system initiative attests to closer Sino-Russian defense cooperation, including in more strategic fields and sensitive technologies. The West should follow these developments closely.