In response to North Korea’s recent intemperance, the US and South Korea have signed a new military plan which requires the United States to be part of the reply to any North Korean provocation, under South Korean leadership.
Meanwhile, China has reached a deal to buy 24 Su-35 fighters and 4 Lada class Air Independent Propulsion submarines from Russia. Given that the Chinese have previously copied both Russian fighters and Russian submarine technologies, we can:
1. Not hold our breath for any follow-on orders, and
2. Ask the Russian government what on earth it is thinking.
The last time Russia sold an advanced fighter to China, it was quickly copied and produced in China. Now the Chinese are no doubt buying the Su-35 to get a look at the latest refinements. The Lada buy is somewhat less explicable, given that China already has a fairly advanced fleet of conventional submarines based on Russian technology. It may indicate that China’s efforts toward air independent propulsion have hit some problems.