Tags: Analysis: | New | Deal | Shows | Danger

Analysis: New Deal Shows Danger

Sunday, 09 September 2001 12:00 AM

At the heart of the deal, consummated Saturday in St. Petersburg between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Chinese counterpart, Zhu Rongji, is a commitment by Moscow to construct by no later than 2005 a 1,500-mile super-pipeline to deliver 30 million tons of oil a year from eastern Siberia into the People's Republic of China.

In a collateral agreement, China will purchase five Russian-built Tupolev 204 transport jets, with an option to acquire 10 more later.

The package, a follow-on to the historic Sino-Russian "friendship treaty" inked in July by Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, is being valued at an infusion of nearly $5 billion annually into the slumping Russian economy.

Bits and pieces of the latest Moscow-Beijing agreement are being reported out of Russia by a variety of sources, including Reuters news service, Interfax news agency that serves Russia and Eastern Europe and Russian television outlets, as follows:

The oil-and-planes deal "stresses cooperation in economic and civil spheres," Kasyanov said, "and shows that term 'strategic partnership' is supported by real content."

While the dollar volume involved in the deal is on nowhere near as large a scale as the Western world is accustomed to seeing between major powers, its significance is staggering in terms of the global security interests of the United States.

Here are only some of the serious consequences that have to be faced by U.S. strategic planners in the Bush-Cheney administration:

Those who dismissed the Sino-Russian "friendship treaty" as so much rhetoric may be having second thoughts.

This is turning into a very real Euro-Asian axis, between Moscow and Beijing. Meat is forming on those bare bones.

For the Bush-Cheney administration, transfixed as it is on the sinking U.S. economy and its potential effects on Republican prospects in the 2002 and 2004 elections, it has not come at a welcome time.

The longer-term implications of a military Moscow-Beijing Axis, founded on a sturdy economic partnership, should be enough to keep the lights burning late at the Pentagon and in the White House.

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At the heart of the deal, consummated Saturday in St. Petersburg between Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Chinese counterpart, Zhu Rongji, is a commitment by Moscow to construct by no later than 2005 a 1,500-mile super-pipeline to deliver 30 million tons of...
Analysis:,New,Deal,Shows,Danger
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2001-00-09
Sunday, 09 September 2001 12:00 AM
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