China has emerged as the biggest customer for the military industry in the Ukraine. Ukraine, the former Soviet state, will likely see China becoming its foremost partner for military technology very soon, according to reports published in Duowei News that is run by Chinese expats.
Sino-Ukrainian diplomatic ties marked their 20th anniversary in 2013. Ukraine has been credited with being rather instrumental in propelling China’s progress in the military sector over this period.
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Ukraine, which has been credited with much of China's military development during this period. Thus, far, Ukraine has reportedly exported as many as thirty different types of technologies in the military domain to the mainland. These include technologies that are related to large vessels, aircraft carriers, tank engines, trainer aircraft, as well as air-to-air missiles.
It was following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that China began to cooperate with Ukraine. Following this, a number of highly skilled researchers were offered job opportunities by various foreign countries including Germany, Israel, the U.S., and Singapore. At this point, China also recruited a number of national-level research professionals using attractive incentives such as free visas and flight tickets. The positive Sino-Soviet relations played a key role in ensuring the success of this recruitment initiative by China.
In the early 1990s though, China lagged behind slightly in military technology. While initially this technological exchange was easier, Soviet research experts eventually began to demand more money and were willing to share much less information pertaining to technology sharing.
It was at this point that the then Chinese premier Li Peng introduced an initiative wherein special awards for friendship were handed out to foreign research professionals for their scientific contributions.
In fact, reports have indicated that China has introduced one of the highest numbers of technical and research experts from not just Russia, but the other Soviet Union countries.