Ukraine Russia China: As The World Turns

The World From Ukraine to China

The World From Ukraine to China

Ukraine has long been a world-class weapons builder and exporter. In fact, without Ukraine’s advanced missile guidance systems and military turbine engines, Russia will find it impossible to build replacements for many of its most important weapons systems — should Putin choose to expand his ongoing, low-level wars.

Ukraine is now building weapons and weapons systems for itself, rather than Russia. And Ukraine’s weapons designers are quite inventive.

Since the beginning of Russian aggression Ukraine, consistently ranking in the top ten exporters of weapons in the world, driven by the necessity to completely re-equip its own army, is replacing the weapons inherited from Soviet times. __ Ukraine’s Weapons Industry Reinventing Itself

Ukraine was the keystone of Russia’s defence industry, until Putin jumped the shark. Now Ukraine is re-tooling its weapons industry, creating a more modern and effective arsenal with which to defend its sovereign territory. The Ukraine arms industry is also building its export business, and represents a tempting investment opportunity for outsiders flush with cash.

While Russia is attempting to build a weapons industry to replace its lost Ukrainian military production, China is attempting to wean itself from dependence on Russian weapons systems.

Chinese industry can still learn much from Russia, but in many areas it has caught up with its model. The vibrancy of China’s tech sector suggests that Chinese military technology will leap ahead of Russian tech in the next decade. __ Emerging from Russia’s Shadow

China is already a threat to Russia’s arms exports, and will become a greater threat each year. Without Ukrainian turbine engines for jets, ships, and helicopters, Russia is being forced to turn to China for military production. That means Russia must turn over all technical details of its weapons systems to its arch-competitor, China.

But China does not have to wait to obtain more advanced turbine engine technology. China can cut under-the-table deals with Ukraine, bypassing Russia entirely while it waits for Russia to hand over its own secrets.

China has been buying Ukrainian turbofan engines for a range of aircraft, diesel engines for tanks, gas turbines for destroyers, and air-to-air missiles for its Su-27 knockoff, known as the J-11. In 2011, Beijing bought 250 turbofans for trainer and combat aircraft, along with 50 diesel tank engines. The Chinese navy heavily used Ukrainian engines for its destroyers, although it will start producing these indigenously at the Harbin Engine Factory once Kiev lives up to its promise to transfer the technological know-how to Beijing.

Russia is uneasy with all of this, but it was particularly unhappy about China’s reverse-engineering of the Russian Su-27 fighter into its J-11 with help from Ukrainian engineers and facilities. It is an unforgotten moment of bitterness in Russia’s defense relations with China. __ Ukraine Russia China

Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Russian troops are refusing to fight in Ukraine. A large-scale mutiny of Russian troops is not out of the question, if Putin attempts to escalate the conflict even more. Russia’s air force is falling from the skies, and Russia’s navy is virtual vapourware for the next 5 – 10 years at least. More . . . Russian Planes Not up to Global Standards

And where will Russia get its advanced new submarine and surface fleets? Who — other than China — will be in a position to build them? Certainly not Russia herself.

The Russians are trying to pretend and persuade themselves that they have the same importance in the world today as when they had twice their current domestic population and had satellized an additional 125 million people in neighboring countries. They do not accept the departure of these jurisdictions from their influence and claim that they ended the Cold War, rather than admitting that the Soviet regime was peacefully defeated from outside and crumbled from within.

Russia is vulnerable and faltering, and its real individual income and industrial output have flatlined for seven years. The Russian economy did not collapse, but it won’t recover, and it has been severely damaged by the Saudis’ cutting oil prices. ___ Russian Dilemma

By making scores of new enemies, Putin has thrust the Russian people deeply into hardship, from which they may never emerge — until Russia’s government is transformed.

For now, Russia must live on fantasies and delusions of grandeur.

. Escalating budget cuts in Russia have begun to inflict pain on Putin’s own oligarchs, not to mention pensioners. The international arbitration court’s ruling that Russia must pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of former oil giant Yukos looms large over the stressed and shrinking Russian state budget.

Nevertheless, Putin and Tsipras keep pretending that they could somehow join efforts in resisting EU pressure. While this is perhaps only a minor irritation for Brussels bureaucrats, it is to the great detriment of the deeply troubled Greek and Russian peoples. __

AS for China, its problems are far more complex than a troubled stock market.

There’s a bigger, scarier problem lurking behind China’s recent stock market crash: The basics of its economy are totally out of whack, forcing it to grow in a fundamentally unsustainable way. According to Damien Ma, a China analyst at the Paulson Institute, the issue is “real, true, serious — and much more important than whether the stock market is going up tomorrow or going down the next day.”

… If you think about the Chinese state now, they basically have to deal with three different constituencies. One constituency is the establishment coastal urbanites, who are fairly easy to deal with because the party itself is an elite establishment party. The second constituency is the 600 million or so rural, relatively poor people. Stuff like the stock market doesn’t really affect them, and the government knows how to deal with them too.

But there’s a third constituency. I call them “the in-betweens”: the 200, possibly 300 million migrant workers that are floating back and forth between rural areas and second-tier cities to first-tier cities. They are potentially a great future labor force and source of growth and consumption. They’re also relatively young and educated, and want the kind of lives the urban dwellers have. __

The Chinese government is actually overconfident in its ability to handle its various populations. Grounded firmly within the nation’s elite, the CCP has lost touch with the masses of common people who hold China’s future in their grasp — if they choose.

Further alienating China’s elite from the masses, is the ongoing capital flight and the brain drain of China’s elite youth to the west. In a one-child China, citizens have no siblings, no cousins, no uncles, no aunts, no “family” to speak of. Where does the loyalty of a true “only child” lie?

Ukraine, Russia, China. Three important arms exporters featured regularly on the global news programs, all in a dynamic state of change. Seen on the news, in soundbites, from a distance — they are rather boring. But seen up close and in detail, some interesting things are happening which will never be reported on the nightly news or on the national propaganda networks. Pay close enough attention and you may see some fascinating developments.


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