Tags: Russian | Chinese | Agencies | Hold | Secret | Talks

Russian, Chinese Agencies Hold Secret Talks

Thursday, 28 November 2002 12:00 AM

The talks between the Russian FSB officers and their counterparts from China's Public Security Ministry marked a breakthrough in ties between the two agencies after a 40-year void in official contacts.

The two sides pledged to boost efforts to curb illegal border crossing, as well as to clamp down on drug runners and smugglers.

Moscow and Beijing each have fought to weed out strong separatist movements that threaten to disintegrate their respective countries -- Russia has for years been hunting down rebels in a secessionist southern province of Chechnya, while China pursues the Uighur separatists in the western region of Xinjiang.

Moreover, the crackdowns became even tougher after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States, as the movements were charged with links to international terrorism and Islamic radicalism.

Russia has been keen to share intelligence with all partners in the U.S.-led anti-terrorist coalition and partnering in such effort with China seems more than logical.

In recent years, the two countries have experienced revival in bilateral ties, largely owing to Russian President Vladimir Putin's pursuit of further rapprochement with Beijing.

This week's talks of Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies come only days ahead of Putin's upcoming Dec. 1-3 visit to China.

Earlier, Putin said that he was looking forward to the summit, which should elevate ties to a new quality level.

Russia shares with China a 2,600-mile border, the longest among its neighbors and the subject of a painstaking effort to demarcate it for decades, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Hundreds of thousands of would-be illegal immigrants from China attempt to enter Russia, looking for work and permanent settlement.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov hailed as "historic" the work on demarcating the border.

"The talks on this issue have been going on for over 30 years, but the success has become possible only now, thanks to the new level of ties between our countries," Ivanov said in an article on Russian-Chinese relations, carried Thursday by Moscow's Kommersant daily newspaper.

Besides being Russia's chief strategic partner, China is also Moscow's main trade ally and top buyer of Russian weaponry.

In recent years, Russia and China signed contracts worth billions of dollars as some of the most sophisticated Russian-made weapons, such as Su-27SK and Su-30MKK fighter planes, S-300PMU anti-aircraft missile systems, Smerch multiple rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missile-armed destroyers, were built to arm the Chinese military, RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

Beijing accounts for 40 percent to 45 percent of all purchases of Russia's arms worldwide, bringing into the Russian treasury $1 billion to $1.5 billion each year.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The talks between the Russian FSB officers and their counterparts from China's Public Security Ministry marked a breakthrough in ties between the two agencies after a 40-year void in official contacts. The two sides pledged to boost efforts to curb illegal border...
Russian,,Chinese,Agencies,Hold,Secret,Talks
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2002-00-28
Thursday, 28 November 2002 12:00 AM
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