Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed for the first time that his country is assisting China to develop an state-of-the-art missile attack warning system, a technology only owned by Russia and the United States at the moment.
“This is a serious thing that will drastically increase the defense capabilities of the People’s Republic of China,” Putin told an international politics conference in the Russian resort town of Sochi on Thursday.
The Russian head of state did not spill any more details about the functions of the system and the technologies implemented into it.
Such systems usually involve an array of ground-based radars and space satellites that allow for early spotting of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which are capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.
The development comes as Russia and China increase their strategic cooperation while falling out with the United States due to President Donald Trump’s aggressive measures.
During his trip to Moscow in June, Chinese President Xi Jinping called Putin his “best and bosom friend” and said he cherished their “deep friendship.”
There, both leaders took jabs at Trump for his “unacceptable” habit of destroying arms control treaties, specially the Cold War-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
Trump abandoned the INF treaty earlier this year accusing Moscow of violations. Moscow denied the charges and followed suit after Washington rejected its offer to resolve their difference through diplomacy.
The US military soon tested a new land-based cruise missile that would have been banned under the treaty.
Both Moscow and Beijing have warned that Washington’s decision would only lead to a new global arms race.
This week, China debuted a range of new weapons including its much-touted hypersonic DF-17 missile. The weapon can in theory re-enter the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound and maneuver in such a way that none of the existing missile defense systems can intercept it.
Russia successfully tested its own hypersonic weapon, dubbed Avangard, last year.
Vladimir Putin also said that China was ready to buy as much soy beans from Russia as it can produce.
“They are ready to buy from us as much as we can produce, but the issue is we are not ready for this now… not yet ready for such volumes,” Putin said.
The remarks came as a raging trade war between China and the US has led Beijing to impose tariffs on soy beans coming from the US.