AP: “China delivers a sophisticated anti-aircraft system to Serbia this weekend”

This past weekend, China delivered a sophisticated anti-aircraft system in a semi-secret operation, despite the Western concerns that the weapons buildup in the Balkans, while the war in Ukraine is going, could jeopardize the fragile peace in the Balkan region – the Associated Press reports and adds:

“Media and military experts said Sunday that six Chinese Air Force Y-20 transport planes landed at Belgrade’s civilian airport early Saturday, reportedly carrying HQ-22 surface-to-air missile systems for the Serbian military. The Chinese cargo planes with military markings were pictured at Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport. Serbia’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to AP’s request for comment. The arms delivery over the territory of at least two NATO member states, Turkey and Bulgaria, was seen by experts as a demonstration of China’s growing global reach.”

“The Y-20s’ appearance raised eyebrows because they flew en masse as opposed to a series of single-aircraft flights,” wrote The Warzone online magazine. “The Y-20′s presence in Europe in any numbers is also still a fairly new development.”

Serbian military analyst Aleksandar Radic said that “the Chinese carried out their demonstration of force.”

The AP goes on to report that “Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had earlier complained that NATO countries, which represent most of Serbia’s neighbours, are refusing to allow the system’s delivery flights over their territories amid tensions over Russia’s aggression on Ukraine. “

“Although Serbia has voted in favour of U.N. resolutions that condemn the bloody Russian attacks in Ukraine, it has refused to join international sanctions against its allies in Moscow or outright criticize the apparent atrocities committed by the Russian troops there.

Back in 2020, U.S. officials warned Belgrade against the purchase of HQ-22 anti-aircraft systems, whose export version is known as FK-3. They said that if Serbia really wants to join the European Union and other Western alliances, it must align its military equipment with Western standards.

The Chinese missile system has been widely compared to the American Patriot and the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems although it has a shorter range than more advanced S-300s. Serbia will be the first operator of the Chinese missiles in Europe,” the AP concludes.

(Danas, 10.04.2022)

https://www.danas.rs/vesti/drustvo/ap-kina-polutajno-isporucila-oruzje-srbiji/

This post is also available in: Italiano

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