Tags: Russia | China | Strengthen | Axis

Russia, China Strengthen Axis

Sunday, 29 April 2001 12:00 AM

On Saturday, Jiaxuan and his counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan met at a meeting of the so-called "Shanghai Five" group to discuss issues ranging from global stability to regional security, from fighting international terrorism to weapons and narcotics smuggling in the Central Asian region.

However, the key assignment of Jiaxuan's trip to Russia was the preparation of the upcoming July visit to Moscow by Chinese leader Jiang Zemin.

According to Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov who met with Jiaxuan Saturday morning, Russia and China will post a record number of top level talks in 2001.

"We practically don't have any problems that could annoy our relations," Putin told the Chinese diplomat Sunday.

According to the Russian president, the relations between Russia and China "are developing intensively and in a positive vein."

Among other achievements, Putin praised the recent boost in trade between the two countries saying that in 2000 "the annual turnover grew by 40 percent and reached the record figure of $8 billion."

China is the world's foremost purchaser of Russian weapons and military equipment. Around one million ethnic Chinese are believed to be living in Russia.

Jiaxuan passed along to Putin best wishes and greetings from President Zemin, who will meet with the Russian leader at least three times this year.

In June, Putin and Zemin are scheduled to meet first in China at the next summit of the "Shanghai Five" group of nations.

In Shanghai, the member states of the alliance will sign a joint protocol pledging to fight terrorism, extremism and separatism in the turbulent Central Asian region.

Zemin's July visit to Moscow will be the highlight of the Russian-Chinese diplomatic activity in 2001, as the two leaders are expected to sign a new comprehensive bilateral treaty defining the future relations between Moscow and Beijing over a 20-year period.

Finally, Putin and Zemin will attend the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in October.

On Sunday, Jiaxuan said that he was "satisfied with the results of the trip" adding a bit of praise for his Moscow hosts by saying that he had the impression he was "still at home."

During his talks with Ivanov, Jiaxuan underlined that the bilateral treaty would not "be directed against third countries" but would only reflect Russia's and China's efforts to build a multi-polar world.

The partnership between the two countries could be strengthened further as both Moscow and Beijing oppose Washington's global dominance.

Moreover, Russia shares China's concern over U.S. President George Bush's pledge last week to militarily support Taiwan.

On Sunday, Itar-Tass quoted unnamed sources which it said were close to the Chinese embassy in Moscow as saying that the U.S. pledge to arm Taiwan caused "serious concerns that entitle China to have the full right to take adequate steps."

The same sources added that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership "is the main obstacle in Washington's pursuit of generating global influence."

"We have given a great deal of attention to the complex of problems connected with preserving strategic stability in the world and creating a multi-polar world," Ivanov said Sunday.

"The stances of Russia and China on these issues coincide and we will continue to closely coordinate our actions in the international arena."

The two ministers reiterated that both Russia and China would insist on preserving the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 as the cornerstone of the global strategic stability despite the unilateral U.S. bid to walk out on the agreement by building its own national missile defense system.

Meanwhile, Russia's domestic security service charged Sunday a Russian scientist with treason and fraud, alleging he was handing over classified data to China.

In February, the regional division of the FSB in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk arrested researcher Valentin Danilov on suspicion that he was providing a Chinese firm with the secret information that could help reduce costs of developing a military space vehicle.

On Sunday, Danilov was charged with state treason and fraud despite his lawyers' argument that the allegedly secret materials had been declassified in 1992.

However, the incident will seemingly have no greater impact on further development of scientific ties between the two countries.

As he spoke on the issue Sunday, Jiaxuan stressed that he would have to investigate the situation upon his return to Beijing in order to give a fuller reply.

"One thing I can say for certain – regardless of the facts involved in this case, it will fail to negatively influence the development of the Russian-Chinese scientific and technical cooperation," said Jiaxuan.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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On Saturday, Jiaxuan and his counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan met at a meeting of the so-called Shanghai Five group to discuss issues ranging from global stability to regional security, from fighting international terrorism to weapons and...
Sunday, 29 April 2001 12:00 AM
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