China's Foreign Conventional Arms Acquisitions: Background and Analysis [October 10, 2000] [open pdf - 387KB]
This report examines the major, foreign conventional weapon systems that China has acquired or has committed to acquire since 1990, with particular attention to implications for U.S. security concerns. Since the mid-1990s, there has been increasing concern about China's assertiveness in Asia and greater threats against Taiwan. One factor for this concern has been the gradual modernization and sophistication of Chinese military apparatus, including: Mi-17 helicopters, Il-76 transports, Su-27 fighters, S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, Kilo submarines, Tor-M1 SAM systems, Sovremenny destroyers (armed with the Sunburn anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM)), airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft (not yet delivered), and Su-30 fighters (not yet delivered). If well-maintained and proficiently-operated, the PLA Navy's Kilo-class submarines can launch attacks against ships and submarines operating in the region. China has made some significant qualitative upgrades through foreign acquisitions, but it remains to be seen how these acquisitions will be expanded and linked to other PLA improvements.
CRS Report for Congress, RL30700