NATO has expressed serious concern over Turkey’s decision to purchase the FD-2000 Missile Defense System from China — the export version of China’s HQ-9 surface-to-air missile — from a Chinese firm, citing that the system would not be compatible with those of Turkey’s other NATO allies. However, the sale symbolizes a victory for China’s defense industry even if it does not go through, reported by the International Media Organizations.
NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen requested Turkey to reconsider the purchase of the FD-2000 saying he expects Turkey to choose a system that is compatible with those of other allies. Some observers claim that the US and NATO are in fact seriously concerned over the deal because China may be able to steal critical information if the FD-2000 is able to be connected with the US-built Patriot air defense missiles deployed to the Turkish border with Syria.
|FD-2000 Air Defense Missile System|
Others believe that whether of not Turkey will halt the US$3.4 billion missile defense deal and comply to the NATO request, it still marks a victory for Chinese defense industry. The Chinese weapons system was chosen above the US Patriot system, Russia’s S-300 and the European Aster 30. Meanwhile, the FD-2000 is expected to become a popular choice for developing nations which are not NATO members with its cheaper price and technology transfer. The Chinese defense industry will now be able to use the indirect support of NATO member Turkey to expand into the overseas market the International Media Organizations said.
Oliver Brauner, a researcher on China’s arms exports from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute told Reuters that the sale of the FD-2000 to Turkey will certainly become a landmark deal if it goes ahead.
Professor Zhang Zhaozhong from the PLA National Defense University in Beijing echoed this view, saying it is an important deal for both China and Turkey, and the sale may open the door for China to sell J-10 fighters to other NATO nations and US allies like (Pakistan) in future.