China buys 4 submarines, 24 fighters from Russia

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China has agreed to buy 24 Su-35 fighters and four Lada-class submarines from Russia in recent arms purchase deals signed shortly before President Xi Jinping's just-concluded visit to Russia, China Central Television reported on Sunday.

The deals raised concern among some regional players and media. Chinese observers said the reaction was "unnecessary" because the purchase is not directed at any third party.

A Russian Su-35 fighter jet. The Su-35 is currently the most advanced Russian fighter jet in mass production.  [File Photo]



The purchases represented "the first time in nearly 10 years" that China had bought large military technological equipment from Russia, the report said.

The four submarines will be jointly designed and built by both countries, with two of them to be built in Russia and the other two in China.

"The Su-35 fighters can effectively reduce pressure on China's air defense before Chinese-made stealth fighters come online," the report said.

Li Hong, secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association, said the recent purchases and joint building plan serve as an indicator of the evolution of the overall Sino-Russian strategic partnership.

"It is the natural, well-deserved fruit of bilateral defense cooperation, and both sides have made it clear that the bilateral strategic partnership is not targeting anyone," Li said.

As for some countries and their speculation on the intentions behind the arms deals, Li said China is not the only country that has signed big arms deals with Russia recently.

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