Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
China, Russia Moving Closer Together, Leaders Say
The leaders of China and Russia on Tuesday cited their nations' deepening strategic connections, Russia Today reported (see GSN, April 12).
"Thanks to joint efforts we raised the level of Russian-Chinese cooperation to unprecedented height and quality," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his first trip to Beijing since he returned to the presidency last month.
Putin proclaimed that "the fundamental interests (of Moscow and Beijing) coincide broadly both in international and economic affairs."
Added Chinese President Hu Jintao: "I am firmly convinced that your visit will contribute to further development of all-embracing strategic partnership and cooperation" (Russia Today, June 5).
Those shared interests include a desire to curb the U.S. presence in Central Asia, according to U.S. and Chinese experts. The two nuclear powers are also against an evolving U.S. ballistic missile defense system in Europe, the New York Times reported (Jane Perlez, New York Times, June 5).
Washington insists the missile shield it is building with NATO is intended to protect against possible ballistic missile attacks from the Middle East. Moscow, though, suspects the antimissile system will secretly be aimed at thwarting its own long-range nuclear weapons. A separate U.S. plan to establish a ballistic missile shield with Australia, Japan, and South Korea that would cover much of Asia has drawn the ire of China.
As permanent veto holders on the U.N. Security Council, China and Russia have regularly united in opposing U.S. foreign policy wishes on matters such as Iran's nuclear program and the continued repression of opposition in Syria.
In a commentary published in the Chinese Renmin Ribao newspaper prior to his trip to Beijing, Putin said the nuclear balance of power, efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism would be among the topics discussed during his trip, ITAR-Tass reported.
"Russia's and China's positions on these topics are practically identical and are based on the principles of responsibility, adherence to the basic values of international law, unconditional respect to each other's interests," Putin wrote. "That is why it is easy for us ... to work out common tactics and strategy and to make constructive contributions to the international discussion on the most acute, most pressing issues" such as the North Korean nuclear impasse and Iran's divisive atomic development program (ITAR-Tass I, June 5).
Putin administration official Yuri Ushakov said the Russia-China talks would "compare positions on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear program" (ITAR-Tass II, June 4).
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