The authoritarian entente: Sino-Russian security cooperation

Sino-Russian arrangements for deepening cooperation on surveillance technology codify a process that has been going on for years.

On the sidelines of the recent Valdai Forum in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would help China build a new missile early warning system. This is not – as is often reported – a missile defence system. Missile early warning systems are designed to detect and classify missiles, as well as to predict their flightpaths. However, unlike missile defence systems, they are unable to intercept missiles. As neither Russian nor Chinese entities have commented on the exact system they will co-produce, it is hard to tell which capabilities the Chinese will receive.