We are the worlds largest exporters of weapons. If the conspiracy theorists are correct, it’s a big problem when one of our key allies decides to deploy a competing missile defense system. Our chief military industrial component is the Raytheon Lockheed Martin partnership that creates the formidable Patriot missile system. And to that point, the up and coming Chinese military industrialists have just scooped the new missile defense contract from Turkey.
A little known upstart, the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation, stunned contractors in Washington and Brussels and frankly Russia which also competed for the contract.
There are several reasons to be concerned. One is that it will be difficult at best to integrate the Chinese HQ-9 missiles into NATO technical configurations. It might mean supplanting some of the supporting systems also made here by other contractors. Another reason is that it might mean that Chinese installation technicians get to look inside the technical infrastructure of US and NATO air defense systems.
This is a huge deal for the Chinese arms industry that wants to move into the consideration set of the world’s biggest arms buyers. Recently China moved to the number five position in world arms exporters and that puts it ahead of Britain. It is also another nail in the coffin of Western dominance in Central Asia.
This is new Mandarin century.