Where America did not dream | Latest news The Moscow Post
01 December 2023

Where America did not dream

The United States makes a "strategic miscalculation," trying to restrain both Russia and China with its actions.

There is an opinion that this contributes to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing. Such an understanding is the simplification of the nature of the relationship between the two powers with global interests, the two most important neighbors in Eurasia.

Russia and China in their unique strategic partnership relations rely primarily on their own capabilities, internal needs and "organic" rather than external impulses. Although in the field of foreign policy, there is a convergence of interests, including similar positions of countries and their leaders on international security issues, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.

Russia and China interact in various fields, from space to tourism, from oil supplies to high technology. Some of them are hidden from the eyes of competitors and obvious opponents, the other may be at the stage of basic research and R&D for many years. But something can "flare up" in response to challenges, like the world's first Satellite V vaccine. Having developed this and other vaccines, Russia has proved that it is among the most developed countries in the world and has modern science.

"Wings" and "turbines" cooperation

In the field of modern civilian technologies related to the lives of millions of people, both in Russia and China, joint technological projects deserve attention

One example is the Russian-Chinese wide-body long-range aircraft CR929. Its first test flight can take place in two years. The cost of the program is about $29 billion. Russia's share in the joint venture is 50%, the contribution amounted to about $8 billion. Assembly work is underway in China, but the product will be common and airlines will have to buy the plane from a joint venture. But this stage will have to wait.

In the meantime, the Russian medium-haul liner MS-21-300 is already at the stage of flight tests. The unique composite wing of Russian production can be considered a product of the indirect influence of US restrictive maneuvers. As noted by the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov, both wing and flight tests prove the correctness of the technical decisions made. And the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, announced a "victory over sanctions." Composite wing technology can increase competitive advantages and CR929.

But not only. In 2024, the United Engine Corporation (UEC) will increase the production of PD-14 to 50 units per year. Perm Motors JSC states that the PD-14 is not inferior in quality to the best foreign analogues and the engine will be more economical. PD-14 is created for MS-21, but in turn the development of a promising aircraft engine PD-35 high thrust for wide-body aircraft.

Gas Turbine Technology

In Russia, the first "big" gas turbine was launched, fully developed by domestic designers. Bench tests were GTD-110 completed, the machine was put into pilot operation at the Ivanovo PSU power unit. The gas turbine is a key element of the steam-gas cycle - the most efficient technology today in traditional thermal energy. Today, both Russian and Chinese energy depend on foreign partners: turbines are either imported or built using imported technologies. In the Russian Federation, Power Machines, Rostec UEC, Gazprom Energoholding compete with Siemens, as well as Inter RAO with GE. These four manufacturers must submit finished turbine samples in two to three years.

Demand for domestic machines should create a program for the modernization of existing thermal power plants. But the market with an estimated volume of about 40 GW until 2031 "for all players" may be tight. The main challenge for contenders remains the demand for their turbines from power engineers. For GTD-110, the Chinese market may be promising, changing the structure of the energy balance by transferring heat power to natural gas.

Energy interaction

Giants such as Rosneft, Gazprom, Rosatom, Novatek, Sibur and Rusal have already laid the foundations for cooperation with China in the field of energy and energy-intensive industries. Transboundary oil and gas pipelines are operating, and supplies from Russia to China of coal and electricity are growing. Large-scale joint projects in gas chemistry and in the production of LNG in the Arctic have been laid.

Plans for the construction of a cross-border gas pipeline through Mongolia. According to the results of the year, gas supplies through the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China may amount to about 15 billion cubic meters. It is also expected that Chinese partners will soon sign loan documents for the Arctic LNG-2 project.

At two Chinese nuclear power plants, Rosatom is building new power units. The product portfolio of the Russian nuclear industry consists not only of traditional solutions in the field of nuclear energy, but also of such new areas as nuclear medicine, centers of nuclear science and technology based on research reactors, radiation processing complexes of products and others. Rosatom is actively working in a number of related non-atomic areas: wind power, the production of composite materials, additive technologies, etc.

In the portfolio of innovative projects of ROSATOM Corporation, a fast neutron reactor with a sodium coolant of BN-800 Russian design, built at power unit No. 4 of the Beloyarskaya NPP. It is planned to make a final development of the technology of fast neutron reactors, which will allow in the future to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Both conventional (with uranium oxide) and uranium-plutonium MOX fuel (mixture of BN-800 and 239Pu) can be used as fuel in the 235U. The use of uranium-plutonium fuel in this "fast" reactor allows both the use of energy plutonium reserves and the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.

According to experts, Russia currently ranks first in the world in the technologies for the construction of "fast" reactors. This offers hope for the development of an environmentally friendly closed nuclear fuel cycle in the future. Power generation at nuclear power plants is one of the sources of low-carbon energy and has a significant environmental effect. The work of all nuclear power plants of Russian design in the world saves emissions of about 210 million tons of CO2 per year, including 107 million tons of CO2 in the Russian Federation.

For China, with its giant coal generation in scale, these Russian innovations may be the most in demand. And taking into account geography, it is possible to arrange nuclear power plants with fast neutron reactors in such a way as to serve not only Chinese consumers, but also Korean and even Japanese ones. Let us recall in this regard the projects of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Rosneft company with the possibility of building an underwater high-power direct current cable line from the Khabarovsk Territory through Sakhalin to Hokkaido. Or the idea of ​ ​ the Energy Ring, covering the Pacific regions of Russia, northeast China, both Korea and Japan.

Technological race

Director of digitalization of ROSATOM Ekaterina Solntseva believes that "there is a radical technological transition that is changing the structure of the digital technology market... gives our country a chance to "get around" competitors and restore its position in the league of global technology leaders. This is a call and requires appropriate frame quality. According to experts of the Association of Computer and Information Technology Enterprises, the annual need of the Russian economy for IT personnel in 2024 will be 290-300 thousand people, including at least 70 thousand highly qualified specialists.

In the field of innovation, the most significant milestones in bilateral relations between Russia and China were the 2018 agreement between Alibaba Group, Mail.ru Group, Megafon and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, as well as agreements with MTS and Vimpelk with Huawei to deploy a 5G network in Russia. According to international experts, Chinese Baidu and Alibaba Group can play the role of the main "engines" of innovation in these and other areas.

In the bilateral technological ties between Russia and China in the field of information and communication technologies (ICT), the number of contracts in the field of R&D and the supply of technological products and services from the Russian Federation to China is growing. The interest of Chinese digital corporations in expanding and contractual strengthening of ties in the field of advanced technologies and technology products is noticeable.

The Huawei ICT academy on the basis of Ural Federal University became the 13th educational project of Huawei in the territory of the Ural Federal District and the 3rd — in Yekaterinburg. In Russia 78 Huawei ICT academies work, a half were open in 2020. In a year according to programs of Huawei more than 4 thousand people were trained.

The Sitronics company (AFK "Sistema"), making server the equipment on technology of Huawei, submitted the application for inclusion of products in the register of the domestic equipment. Huawei was in the lead before in the market of servers in the Russian Federation. Following the results of 2020 the producer was the third after Dell and Hewlett Packard on deliveries of the server hardware in terms of money. In the second quarter 2021 the Russian Yadro from shares of 19% in terms of money came out on top (18.8%) also Hewlett Packard – the third (16.9%) was Dell the second. Huawei took the fourth place from shares of 10.4%.

Offering the standards

The Nikkei agency analyzed data of patent applications in 10 categories, including artificial intelligence and quantum calculations. The list includes regenerative medicine, autonomous driving, a blockchain, cyber security, virtual reality, Li-ion batteries, drones and conducting polymers.

China became the center of formation of the international rules for such technologies as wireless transfer given and devices of "the fifth generation" (5G). The Huawei company is the leading source of patents in area 5G, is in the lead on the importance of the contribution to her development and also weight in the international organization of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which develops telecommunication standards, being ahead of both the European competitors, and the American company Qualcomm.

Huawei is a pioneer in area 4G and recently filed a lawsuit against the American operator Verizon Communications, having accused him of violation of patent law. Patents of Huawei became a part of industry standards, her competitors should pay a royalty for use of patents even if access to the market of 5G networks will be closed.

China, thus, comes to positions which allow to use influence in the field of standards for counteraction to economic sanctions of the West, first of all American. It is remarkable in this regard that the U.S. Department of the Treasury, having blacklisted Huawei, allowed to exchange with this company technical information in the field of specifications 5G. The maneuver is clear: America is afraid that it can remain on the roadside of process of transition to new generation of technologies of communication.

Leadership in patents

The USA concerned by prospect of the fact that Beijing can take leadership in "writing of rules" of technologies 5G decided to close access to the Chinese technological companies to the American market. Washington actually forbade the companies to deal with Huawei Technologies. I proved these requirements by "safety reasons". Great Britain, France, Australia followed the example, but it can't limit influence of Huawei in the field of technologies 5G to him.

In 2019 the total number of the patent applications submitted through the international system of registration of applications grew by 5%, having reached record level in 265,800 applications. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for 2019 China bypassed the USA and came out on top on number of the international patent applications submitted on VOIS channels. The USA which since 1978 was the leader in new international patents fell by the second place. Japan occupied the third.

Whether China has natural advantages in the field of hi-tech types of products, except technologies? Certainly, if to consider not only competences, practices, attention to training, but also the huge market to which Russia has access now. On some directions can be even exclusive. Who knows? Everything depends on will of the governments and flexibility of business structures. Huge domestic demand in China and also the adjusted export chains from Canada to Indonesia allow to advance many technology solutions to consumers.

The agreement on development of technologies 5G between the MTS mobile network operator conducting in Russia and the Huawei company became an important step in performance of tasks of the national program "Digital Economy". Then, in June, 2019, at a ceremony of signing there were leaders of two countries Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. The Chinese mobile phones ready to 5G networks can even be better than offices of Apple and Samsung on indicators the price quality. And the western sanctions in this region of Russia aren't scary. Anyway, to the Russian admirers of devices of mobile communication of Apple can sleep peacefully. But the keyword "to sleep" here! We aren't able to afford it.

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