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Putin: Russia helps China build missile warning system

Russian President Vladimir Putin (AP)

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is helping China build a system to warn of ballistic missile launches.

    Since the Cold War times, only the United States and Russia have had such systems, which involve an array of ground-based radars and space satellites. The systems allow for early spotting of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    Speaking at Thursday's international affairs conference, Putin said Russia has been helping China develop such a system. He added that "this is a very serious thing that will radically enhance China's defense capability."

    His statement signaled a new degree of defense cooperation between the two former Communist rivals that have developed increasingly close political and military ties.

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