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WASHINGTON – Turkey has picked a Chinese company under sanction from the U.S. to co-produce a missile defense system that could result in the passing of Western alliance security codes to China, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Turkey, which is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, must have equipment that is compatible and secure to avoid espionage as a condition of belonging to the Western alliance. So it is shopping for a defense system.
However, Turkey claims the Chinese system was cheaper than either a U.S. or European system and officials don’t seem to care that the deal is causing a strain in the nation’s relationship with NATO and the United States.
Ankara got a $3.44 billion low bid from the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp., or CPMIEC, on a system that was bid by the U.S. and Europe at over $4 billion.
Turkey already has the U.S. Patriot system which is a missile defense system. The U.S. offered Raytheon’s Patriot missiles in Turkey’s bid for an enhanced missile defense system.
CPMIEC previously was accused of violating sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Syria.
Like the U.S., NATO has expressed concern over the deal, which Turkish Defense Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, amid much criticism, said wasn’t final, although he said Turkey would have purchased the NATO-compatible systems if they were cheaper.
“What is important for us is that the system acquired by the individual country must be able to work and operate with the systems in other countries,” said NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “I expect that Turkey will also comply with that.”
NATO also is concerned that an integration of the two systems could lead to the leak or transfer of classified information about the Patriot system to China.
Turkey reasons it need not be concerned because of the lack of United Nations non-proliferation sanctions on CPMIEC. The U.S. sanctions are unilateral, which Turkey doesn’t recognize.
Turkish officials claim the systems will be co-produced in Turkey, not China.
However, the U.S. doesn’t want the software codes for the Patriot system shared with the Chinese. The Chinese tend to share their source codes with buyers, raising a security issue for the U.S., which doesn’t want the Patriot source codes falling into the wrong hands.
Informed sources believe Turkey may reconsider its tentative decision, despite the cheaper price, because of the potential for jeopardizing its relationship with NATO and the U.S. It also is possible that Raytheon could lower its price to Turkey, but sources say Raytheon has a backorder on the missile system.
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