Tags: Sino-Russian | Alliance | Challenges | U.S. | Interests

Sino-Russian Alliance Challenges U.S. Interests

Sunday, 13 January 2002 12:00 AM

With the U.S. preoccupied by the war on international terrorism, some of our new "partners" in the anti-terrorist coalition are developing their military alliances, which directly confront U.S. strategic interests and undermine world stability. Such alleged friends as Russia and Red China continue to challenge America's influence and goals.

Last month, Russia's State Duma (lower House of Parliament) ratified a groundbreaking treaty with China that aims to end decades of suspicion and border conflicts between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Officially known as a treaty of "friendship and cooperation," this document is considered by Russian experts to actually be the practical formalization of the military alliance between Moscow and Beijing, whose leaders are frustrated with growing U.S. influence in world affairs.

The treaty prohibits the two countries from launching nuclear strikes against, or even targeting, one another with such weapons. It also recognizes Beijing's "sovereignty" over Taiwan and pledges Russian support of Chinese military operations in any conflict over the island, which potentially would involve the U.S.

The treaty, due shortly for ratification in China, dramatically reinforces Beijing's claims on Taiwan and strongly supports Chinese military preparations, which are directed mostly toward the U.S. As the National Intelligence Council's Jan. 9 report stated, the Chinese strategic ballistic missile forces over the next 15 years will range from 75 to 100 warheads "deployed primarily against the United States."

It is known that the Chinese Communists, currently with Moscow's assistance, are building up their strategic missile forces by converting silo missiles into road-launched mobile missiles, similar to the well-known Russian-made "Topol"/Poplar/ ICBMs.

Moscow also supplies Beijing with up-to-date weapons systems originally designed for a war against the U.S.

On Jan 3, Russia secured a $1 billion contract to supply Red China with two modified Sovremenny-class destroyers, in addition to previously delivered warships of the same class.

According to the Russian press, the two new 956-EM vessels are due for delivery in four years and are an upgrade from the previously delivered batch.

Nicknamed the "aircraft-carrier killer," the Sovremenny destroyer was designed in the former USSR for attacks on U.S. and NATO warships, and packs more firepower than its older U.S. Kidd-class counterpart.

Moscow has already shipped such warships to Beijing, assembled from hulls laid down in the Soviet era. The warships will be built at the Northern Shipyard Company in Russia's second-largest city of St. Petersburg.

Moscow officials said Russian designers have significantly improved combat performance of all weapons to be installed on the destroyers ordered by the Chinese Defense Ministry, and these warships would carry one dedicated helicopter in addition to other weapons.

The list of Russian weapons supplied to China is growing every other day, and these arms are servicing the final stage of Beijing's military modernization program.

Officially supporting the U.S.-led war on terrorism, Russia and China have moved in recent days to reassert their diplomatic and military clout in Central Asia in an effort to reclaim influence in the area seriously undermined by American anti-terrorist operations.

On Jan 7, the foreign ministers of Russia, China and four Central Asian nations met in Beijing and called for a neutral Afghanistan, warning that the war on terrorism should not be "expanded arbitrarily."

Moscow and Beijing have also tried to play a major behind-the-scenes role in the current standoff between India, Russia's long-term ally, and Pakistan, China's old friend and India's foe.

Using their influence in the region, Russian and Chinese leaders are trying to counter what they see as recent efforts by New Delhi and Islamabad to establish closer ties to the U.S.

While busy fighting the war on terrorism, we cannot ignore these and other developments that confront American strategic interests.

Nor can we close our eyes to other hostile activities against the U.S., which in the near future could be far more dangerous for Americans than the clear and present threat from international terrorism.

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With the U.S. preoccupied by the war on international terrorism, some of our new partners in the anti-terrorist coalition are developing their military alliances, which directly confront U.S. strategic interests and undermine world stability. Such alleged friends as...
Sino-Russian,Alliance,Challenges,U.S.,Interests
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2002-00-13
Sunday, 13 January 2002 12:00 AM
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