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China to buy Russian fighters, submarines

2013-03-26 08:44 Global Times     Web Editor: Wang Fan comment

China has agreed to buy two dozen fighter jets and four submarines from Russia, China Central Television reported Monday, marking the country's first large-scale purchase of military equipment from Moscow in a decade.

The agreement to buy the 24 Su-35 fighters and four Lada-class submarines was signed just before President Xi Jinping's weekend visit to Russia, said the report.

The report, which did not give a value for the purchases, said it was the first time in 10 years China had bought "large military technological equipment" from Russia.

Two of the submarines will be built in Russia, with the other two to be built in China.

The Su-35 fighters will effectively reduce pressure on China's air defense before Chinese-made stealth fighters enter service, the report said.

China and Russia are expected to cooperate further in developing military technology, the report said, including that for S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missiles, 117S large thrust engines and IL-476 large transport aircraft.

Xi visited Moscow from Friday to Sunday, his first trip abroad since becoming head of state earlier this month.

The countries signed around 30 energy and other agreements. Xi also met Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and became the first foreign leader to visit the Russian armed forces' control center.

Chang Wanquan, Chinese State Councilor and defense minister, said while meeting with Shoigu that bilateral defense cooperation is a key part of China-Russia relations.

Through joint efforts, wide-ranging and multi-layer defense cooperation has become a pivot of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, Chang noted.

Shoigu said Russia is willing to strengthen coordination with China and further push forward defense cooperation between the two countries.

Geng Yansheng, spokesperson for the Chinese defense ministry, said on February 18 that the military technology cooperation between China and Russia maintained a momentum of healthy development and would be further expanded, noting that such cooperation was not targeted at any third party and is conducive to the world's and regional peace and stability.

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