BEIJING — As China boosts its military spending, rattling neighbors over territorial disputes at sea, an AFP investigation shows that European countries have approved billions in transfers of weapons and military-ready technology to the Asian giant.
China’s air force relies on French-designed helicopters, while submarines and frigates involved in Beijing’s physical assertion of its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea are powered by German and French engines — part of a separate trade in “dual use” technology to Beijing’s armed forces.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced stepped-up production of the Airbus EC175 helicopter in China during his visit to France in March — a deal analysts said could result in technology transfers to the military.
“European exports are very important for the Chinese military,” said Andrei Chang, editor of the Hong Kong-based Kanwa Asian Defense Review.
“Without European technology, the Chinese navy would not be able to move.”
Read more: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140430/DEFREG01/304300031/EU-Firms-Help-Power-China-s-Military-Rise