VICE’s Ryan Faith has an interesting bit of speculation as to who will emerge in the struggle between the Russian Federation and the Ukraine – China and its defense manufacturing industry.
During the Cold War, prior to the Sino-Soviet split of the 1970s, China and the then-Soviet Union were allies in the common cause of spreading global communism. Soviet initiated technology transfers to Beijing modernized the PRC’s military and established factories and supply chains in the People’s Republic of China capable of producing near-perfect copies of their Soviet counterparts.
With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, regions that were once unified under one economic order and whose industries were aligned with a national supply chain that supplied the defense apparatus of this united nation now found themselves in separate, sovereign states. It should come as no shock, then, that the Ukraine and the Russian Federation engage in a heavy amount of arms trade between them and that the disruption of this trade would provide an opportunity for a nation like China who, possessing a similar know-how and ready to fill supply chain gaps, could provide both sides with arms as well as learn new methods/technologies on the cheap because of these new supply line gaps.