Soviet technology generates tension between US and China

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WASHINGTON DC – The US wants to prevent China from acquiring a Ukrainian engine company for fear that the Chinese will have access to technologies developed by the USSR.

According to various media, the recent visit by John Bolton, US Homeland Security advisor, to Ukraine aimed to prevent Chinese companies from acquiring more than 50% of the shares of the Ukrainian aircraft engine building company, Motor Sich.

Motor Sich is considered the crown jewel of the industrial companies that remained active in Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union .

“Several countries produce airplanes, but few produce modern aircraft engines. This is a special art, available only to the most developed countries in the world. Ukraine inherited it from a powerful empire: the USSR,” Nikolai Storozhenko wrote in an article. to the Vzglyad newspaper.

Until 2014, Motor Sich’s production was mainly destined for Russia, however, at the end of the first decade of 2000, the company established ties with Asian partners, mainly with China.

In 2018, Chinese contracts were a source of $160 million of the company’s $450 million in revenues. Currently, approximately 1,200 units of Chinese equipment run on engines made in Ukraine.

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The Chinese try to make their own engines, however, do not have the same technology as the Ukrainian engines, developed by the USSR.

“Sooner or later, Chinese engineers will learn. But isn’t it easier to buy a Soviet engine school that still remains in Ukraine for a relatively modest price? After all, if with the help of Soviet traditions China learns to making aircraft engines, their technological and military competence with the US will reach a completely different level,” said Storozhenko.

In Ukraine, John Bolton stated that China is trying to be a part of the economy worldwide, including through the New Silk Road project and through attractive investments. He also added that the US intends to warn partners about the “risks” of Chinese investments.

Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine Du Wei called Bolton’s statements on cooperation between China and Ukraine as irresponsible .

“During his stay in Kiev, Mr Bolton spoke irresponsibly about China and our country’s relations with Ukraine and the Silk Belt and Route initiative,” Du Wei said after the visit of Bolton to Ukraine.

For Oleg Liashko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, the US will have to buy Ukrainian engines if they are bothered by the Sino-Ukrainian partnership.

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