Turkey has announced plans to buy a long-range missile defence system (the HQ-9) from China, rather than NATO supplied Patriot missiles. Speculation is that the Chinese company (China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation) beat the Lockheed Martin and Raytheon made competition partly because of a significant price undercut: the HQ-9 system is suspected to cost $3 billion. NATO isn’t too happy about the deal; Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:
Our position is very clear. It’s a national decision to decide which equipment to purchase, However, seen from a NATO perspective, it’s of utmost importance that the systems nations plan to acquire can work and operate together with similar systems in other Allied nations.
The Americans aren’t impressed either.
NATO isn’t the only entity to raise objections to arms sales recently—Beijing reportedly asked Korea not to sell FA-50 fighters to the Philippines.
Every time the Korean or Filipino media reported on the FA-50 sale, China reacted sensitively trying to confirm the reports through diplomatic channels,
… a Korean government source said. On the topic of air-combat capability in Asia, here is another a piece on Singapore and the F-35B.
It’s not all bad news for Chinese diplomatic efforts, this week India and China signed an agreement to resolve border disputes.
John Kerry says he doesn’t want to be left out of the fun in Asia, and at the end of last week wrote an oped in the LA Times to remind us all.
After three trips to Asia as secretary of State, I am more convinced than ever that, as a Pacific power, the United States must continue to forge a Pacific future. But building that future means confronting challenges that require cooperation with our allies and perseverance with our adversaries.
…says Kerry. The article didn’t mention China.
The Diplomat has this article on another Chinese missile system, the DF-21D. It’s a quick digest and recommendation of Andrew Erikson’s publication Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Development: Drivers, Trajectories and Strategic Implications from the Jamestown Foundation.
And in other musings on developing capability, the American Secuirty Project have this piece on the strategic effects of a lethal drones policy.
In an episode worthy of a cross between House of Cards and a le Carré novel, Jofi Joseph, a White House national security staffer and member of the Iran negotiations team was discovered as the owner of twitter account @natsecwonk. Colleagues apparently launched a sting, planting false information in an effort to discover who authored the account which provided suspiciously well informed, and often critical, commentary on Washington’s foreign policy workings.
Lastly, don’t forget ASPI is hiring. We’re looking for a Canberra-based Analyst or Senior Analyst. Applications close Monday 4 November, and there are more details here (PDF).
Applications for ASPI’s internship program will open soon as well. Gain real experience in strategic and defence policy analysis, and develop your research skills under the mentoring of senior staff. Internships last 6 months and are paid. More details here.