Perhaps we have not yet fully grasped the immense historic and geopolitical implications of the strategic alliance emerging between the Russian Federation and China. We are, nonetheless, witnessing the gradual birth of the next global superpower, potentially the most dominant political, military and economic force of the twenty-first century. The center of geopolitical gravity is once again shifting East. What was only a fantastic dream for some and a terrible nightmare for others is finally becoming a reality.
Medvedev's China visit to carry forward China-Russia strategic ties
Russia and China sign nuclear deal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fng7NW7X5VQ
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is to pay his first visit to China on Friday, in a move analysts say will push forward the China-Russia strategic partnership and map out a blueprint for bilateral ties in future. As China is to be the first non-Commonwealth of Independent States member country of Medvedev's first tour abroad since he was sworn in on May 7, the visit marked the importance attached by the two countries to their strategic partnership of cooperation, said Ma Zhengang, director of the China Institute of International Studies. "The visit shows the valued, special, strategic meaning and stability of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation," Ma said.
FRUITFUL BILATERAL RELATIONS
During the presidency of Vladimir Putin, Medvedev's predecessor, Chinese-Russian relations were promoted to a "historic high". Chinese President Hu Jintao and Putin met five times last year and laid out the blueprint for the development of the strategic partnership of cooperation in its second decade. The two countries have done much to enhance the material and social foundations of bilateral ties, enabling them to develop steadily and deeply within a mature political framework, Ma said. In the economic sphere, bilateral trade volume surged from 10.67 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 48.17 billion dollars last year. The fast-growing trade fulfilled the need of speedy economic growth of both countries, which shows that economic cooperation between the two countries is becoming increasingly substantial and bringing benefits to both peoples, Ma said. As a key part of the Sino-Russian strategic relations, the two states hosted theme years to boost social exchanges: the Year of Russia in China in 2006 and the Year of China in Russia in 2007. Medvedev, then first deputy prime minister and Russia's chairman of the theme years' organizing committee, said such activities were pioneer projects and had yielded remarkable achievements.
FURTHER CONCRETE COOPERATION
The China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation entered its second decade in 2007. This year marks the end of the first phase of the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Medvedev's visit at such a time would enable the two state leaders to make strategic plans for future development and hold in-depth discussion on further cooperation, analysts said. Meanwhile, China and Russia, with rising economies, have focused on conducting wide cooperation under globalization. "New booming economies play increasing roles in promoting the world economy, under which China and Russia would consider fresh cooperation," said Jiang Yi, expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As both are permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia have played important roles in seeking solutions to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and Iran's nuclear program. They are both mediators in the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and international talks concerning Iran. Both members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China and Russia have actively cooperated in maintaining regional peace and security, fighting the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism, cracking down on drugs and arms trafficking and boosting regional economic cooperation. Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov said the two sides would sign series of documents, including one expressing both views on major international and regional issues. "China and Russia, facing the changing international situation, share the willingness of expressing common views and playing constructive roles in international and regional issues," Jiang said.
ASSISTANCE SHOWCASE FRIENDSHIP
Hearing of the May 12 earthquake in southwest China that claimed more than 51,000 lives, Medvedev sent a letter of condolence the same day to President Hu, followed by four batches of aid materials and rescue teams. Russia's fast reaction and generous assistance showed not only its care and humanitarian spirit, but also reflected the understanding and friendship between the Russian and Chinese peoples, Jiang said. The Russian government has promised to send a "high-level" delegation to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August. The Russian delegation, composed of about 470 members, will be one of the largest delegations to the Games, said Razov. Analysts called for more efforts from the two nations to cement the material and social foundations of bilateral ties, such as optimizing trade structure, regulating trade orders, two-way investment and expanding new cooperation projects.
Russia, China sign nuclear deal
Russia and China have signed a billion dollar nuclear deal, in another sign of strengthening relations. The agreement was announced shortly after Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Beijing, as part of his first overseas trip as president. The deal covers the construction of a uranium enrichment plant in China and the delivery of low-enriched uranium from Russia. "Since we produce enough enriched uranium to cover our needs, we haven’t been building integrated uranium enrichment plants for some time now. So, in terms of engineering, it will be interesting to build a modern one from scratch," said Sergey Kirienko, Head of Russia’s Nuclear Energy Agency. Tourism, aviation, banking, investment and trade deals were also announced. Medvedev has so far met China’s President Hu Jintao and is due to meet other senior officials. His visit comes as some Chinese regions recover from a powerful earthquake, which rocked the country earlier this month and killed more than 55,000 people. President Medvedev says Russia will continue to provide more aid and assistance to deal with the aftermath of the quake. While relatively unknown in the West, Medvedev is well known in China. While Deputy Prime-Minister, he was responsible for the organisation of the Year of Russia in China. He visited the country both as an official and as a tourist. “Since 2001 co-operation between Russia and China has significantly grown in all spheres. Now we are on the threshold of forming a new plan that will lead to additional dynamics in our relations,” Dmitry Medvedev said. China is one of Russia's biggest trading partners. Since 2001 trade turnover between the countries has increased more than five-fold. Hu Jintao is expected to visit Russia next year.
Russia, China denounce U.S. plans for global missile defense
The presidents of Russia and China denounced in a joint statement on Friday U.S. moves to establish a global missile defense system, saying the plans threaten the global strategic balance. The declaration is one of several signed after talks between Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and China's Hu Jintao in Beijing. "The parties believe that the construction of a global missile defense system, including the deployment of such a system in some regions of the world... does not contribute to maintaining a strategic balance and stability, and runs counter to international efforts to control arms and non-proliferation," the declaration said. The plans also weaken "confidence-building measures between countries and the consolidation of regional stability," the statement said. Russia and China have taken a shared stance on many global issues in recent years, often opposing the position of the U.S. The U.S.-proposed European part of the global missile defense shield will see the deployment of 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the neighboring Czech Republic. Moscow is opposed to the plans, saying the shield would threaten Russia's national security. The plans have proved the main bone of contention in relations between the U.S. and Russia, and were the focus of two meetings between the countries' top diplomats and defense chiefs last October and in March this year.
China-Russia bilateral trade hits $48 bln in 2007
Bilateral trade between Russia and China reached $48.2 billion in 2007, with Chinese exports to Russia doubling over the last four years as Russian exports fell slightly, Russia's trade mission in Beijing said on Thursday. Speaking on the eve of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's May 23-24 visit to China, Sergei Tsyplakov said that Russian exports to China were dominated by raw materials, while the share of Russian machinery and technological products, including military hardware, was declining. "Exports of Russian machinery tools to China lack large-scale joint projects... in the short-term it is difficult to count on major sales of Russian technology on the Chinese market," said the trade envoy. According to Tsyplakov, Russia is currently experiencing an influx of consumer electronic and household goods as well as machine tools from China, the latter amounting to 30% in 2007 of all Chinese exports to Russia. In 2007, a trade surplus in favor of China was registered for the first time in bilateral relations, the trade envoy said, adding that the trend was set to continue, "in the long-term." According to the trade mission, over the period 2003-2007, Chinese exports to Russia doubled from 5.8% to 12.2%, while Russian exports to China fell from 6.2% to 4.5%. Last year Russian exports to China grew 12.1% to $19.67 billion while Chinese exports to Russia went up 79.9% to $28.48 billion. Russia and China earlier set a joint goal of increasing bilateral trade to $60 billion and possibly to $80 billion by 2010.
Russia, China close to deal on ESPO oil pipeline branch
State-owned Russian oil firm Rosneft and China’s CNPC are in the final stages of talks to build an oil pipeline branch from Russia’s Far East to China, Russia’s president said Thursday. “We have a basic agreement on this [branch]... We hope that all the main provisions, the main parameters for future cooperation will be agreed,” Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Chinese journalists ahead of his visit to China, set for May 23-24. Under an agreement signed between China National Petroleum Corporation and Transneft, the oil pipeline operator, the construction of the pipeline branch will be funded by China. The ESPO pipeline is slated to pump up to 1.6 million barrels of crude per day from Siberia to Russia’s Far East and then on to China and the Asia-Pacific region. The pipeline’s first leg, estimated at $11 billion, was expected to be commissioned in December 2008. However, Transneft said in February that the commissioning of the project would be delayed from late 2008 to late 2009. The second leg will stretch for 2,100 kilometers (1,304 miles) from Skovorodino to the Pacific. It will pump 367.5 million barrels of oil annually. The capacity of the Taishet-Skovorodino pipeline, being built as part of the project’s first leg, is also expected to increase to 588 million barrels from the initial 220.5 million bbl.
Medvedev says Russia-China force to be reckoned with
Russia's new President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that the world could not ignore the joint voice of his country and China, even if their alliance was facing criticism. Medvedev was in Beijing as part of his first foreign trip since taking office. The two countries have increasingly coordinated positions at the United Nations on a range of international issues. "Russian-Chinese cooperation has today emerged as a key factor in international security, without which it is impossible for the international community to take major decisions," Medvedev told students at Peking University. "Maybe not everybody likes the strategic cooperation between our two countries, but we understand that this cooperation is in the interest of our people and we will boost it whether or not it pleases some people," he said. A day earlier, Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao in a joint statement denounced US plans to build a global missile defence shield. Russia has been outraged by US plans to build the shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe. Russia and China have also been uneasy about US-Japanese cooperation on a missile shield. Medvedev was winding up his first trip as president after stopping in energy-rich Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. Since taking office, Medvedev has refrained from openly assailing the West in the style of his mentor and predecessor Putin, who remains highly influential in the prime minister's post. China and Russia are veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, where they have been coordinating their positions on controversial issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and Kosovan independence, which they both oppose.