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Turkey's Choice: Chinese Missile Defense Or NATO?

If Turkey moves ahead with the purchase of a Chinese missile defense system, Ankara will be opting out of a NATO system.
The logo of China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) is seen at its headquarters in Beijing September 27, 2013. NATO member Turkey has chosen a Chinese defence firm that has been sanctioned by Washington to co-produce a $4 billion long-range air and missile defence system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, U.S. and European firms. The Turkish defence minister announced the decision to award the contract to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) in a statement on Thursday

The controversy surrounding NATO member Turkey’s decision to opt for a Chinese missile defense system continues to grow as NATO and Washington make no secret of their annoyance over the choice. For supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, the debate has turned into an issue of independence and national honor. Meanwhile defense analysts say the country’s security needs are being compromised, amid all the rhetoric, at a time when threats to national security are increasing.

Turkey said in September it would start talks with the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation, or CPMIEC, for the FD-2000 missile defense system. The deal is said to be valued at $3.4 billion. CPMIEC is currently subject to US sanctions for supplying military technology to Iran, North Korea and Syria.

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