Russia-China arms trade to continue - 2007

Russia-China arms trade to continue


Russia will not sell aircraft carriers to China because it has stopped producing them, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev told Chinese netizens in an online dialogue this week. "Now China has its own advanced weapons manufacturing technology there's no need to buy outdated military equipment," said Alexeyev. But he added that Russia will continue selling up-to-date arms to China. "It is unfortunate that various threats in the world against us (Russia and China) have not decreased," said the deputy foreign minister, indicating that maintaining a high-level defense capability is in line with the common interests of the two countries. The arms deals between Russia and China "will not become a threat to any third country, and will not endanger the stability and security of the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole," he added. In regard to recent actions taken by the Russian government on foreigners working and running retail businesses in Russia, Alexeyev said they were not targeted at Chinese citizens, but aimed at combating illegal immigration. The Kremlin began a ban on immigrant vendors in markets on April 1, forcing foreign traders to pack up their stalls and dozens of kiosks are now empty. But it does not apply to Moscow. Immigrant vendors are only allowed to work as porters, cleaners and wholesalers. They are not permitted to directly sell goods to local customers. The ban has raised concerns that it was aimed at Chinese traders. "The anti-China tendency in Russia contradicts the policy of our government," said Alexeyev. Another Russian guest engaged in the online dialogue, Nikolay Dudov, governor of Magadan Oblast, said the so-called expansion of Chinese citizens in Russia is not really taking place. "The issue has been exaggerated by sensationalist media," he said. The online dialogue, called "Dialogue with Russia", is part of a series of online interactive activities between Chinese netizens and other countries and regions sponsored by China Daily. This summer, 10 questions were picked from a pool of posted by about 150,000 netizens on the China Daily website and were transferred to several Russian politicians and experts. "We intend to build up a high-level network platform for Chinese netizens to learn about Russia through this dialogue, as well as providing a new channel for mutual understanding between the two countries," said Zhou Xiaopeng, director of the China Daily website's Global Online Channel.


In related news:

India, Russia likely to sign N-cooperation pact

India and Russia are expected to sign several key agreements, including a comprehensive pact on nuclear cooperation, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit here next month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov said on Friday. Talking to Indian mediapersons after the 13th session of Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, Zhukov underscored the significance of the traditional nuclear cooperation with India and ongoing construction of two 1000 VVER nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. Noting that Moscow views New Delhi as its strategic partner, the Minister said Russia has reaffirmed its commitment to build four more such nuclear reactors for power generation in India. Zhukov, however, did not go into the details of the nuclear pact to be signed in November. "It would be a framework agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy," he said.


India, Russia, China to hold meet in Harbin

Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia will hold a two-day meeting from Wednesday in northeastern Chinese city of Harbin to explore ways to enhance trilateral cooperation. The ministers are expected to exchange views on major international and regional issues and discuss expansion of cooperation among the three countries. This is the third stand-alone meeting between the foreign ministers of the three countries, who had earlier met in Delhi in February and in Vladivostok in Russia in June 2005. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are expected to explore cooperation in various fields. Foreign ministers of the three countries have been meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York since September 2002. The first Summit Meeting among the leaders of India, Russia and China took place on July 17, 2006 in St Petersburg on the sidelines of the meetings among G-8 and outreach countries. Mukherjee's three-day visit to China beginning Tuesday will be his first as External Affairs Minister. He had visited China in May last year as Defence Minister. He is likely to meet with Yang to discuss bilateral ties after their meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York last month.


Russia, China favour bigger global role for India

India, Russia and China Wednesday made a strong pitch for UN reforms and closer cooperation on pressing global issues like terrorism to create a multi-polar world as the trilateral meeting of their foreign ministers concluded in the Chinese city of Harbin. Underlining the need to reform the United Nations to reflect contemporary realities, Russia and China strongly backed a bigger role for India on the international stage. 'The foreign ministers of China and Russia reiterated that their countries attach importance to the status of India in international affairs, and understand and support India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations,' a joint communique issued at the end of the talks said. Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee held talks with his counterparts, Yang Jiechi of China, the host of the meeting, and Sergei Lavrov of Russia to enhance economic cooperation and closer coordination on global issues. In a message aimed at the US, the three countries stressed that their cooperation was not directed against any country even as they warned against double standards in the fight against global terrorism in all forms and manifestations. 'They reaffirmed that trilateral cooperation is not targeted against any other country or organization and is intended to promote international harmony and mutual understanding and seeks to broaden common ground amidst divergent interests,' the communique said. 'They further emphasized that they would continue to promote democratisation of international relations and evolution of a more just and rational international order,' it said.

Stressing on multilateralism and collective action on global issues like terrorism and climate change, the three countries called for strengthening the role of the UN and improving its efficiency. 'Collection action within the framework of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and under the central and coordinating role of the UN and its Security Council should be strengthened. Double standards should not be adopted,' the communique said. The three countries pushed for a speedy finalisation of the draft UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and agreed to coordinate their action against all factors that feed international terrorism, including its financing, drug trafficking and trans-national organized crime. 'We believe that our trilateral dialogue mechanism improves mutual understanding and trust with regard to these common challenges and contributes to strengthening peace, security and stability in our region and the world,' Mukherjee said in his opening remarks at a joint press interaction with his counterparts from Russia and China. India will host a trilateral business forum Dec 15, which will focus on sectors of common business interest, Mukherjee announced. 'Through this trilateral meeting, we have been able to cooperate closely to create a better international environment and a better environment in our own neighbourhood,' Yang said at a luncheon in honour of his Indian and Russian counterparts in the northeast Chinese city.

The three-way meeting was the third stand-alone trilateral Foreign Ministers' meeting after the first one in Vladivostok on June 2, 2005 and the second in New Delhi on Feb 14, 2007. Enhanced cooperation in areas such as agriculture, disaster mitigation and public health was also discussed. A trilateral seminar on emerging geo-strategic trends with the participation of officials and scholars from the three countries will also be held in India early next year. The first summit meeting among the leaders of India, Russia and China took place on July 17, 2006 in St Petersburg on the sidelines of the meetings of the G-8 and its outreach countries.


India, Russia, China Want a 'Multi-Polar' World

India joined China and Russia Wednesday in calling for a "more just and rational" world order but, in a now familiar refrain, also insisted that their trilateral cooperation was not intended to target "any other country." A meeting in northern China of the three countries' foreign ministers ended with a joint communique containing veiled references to U.S. domination of international affairs. India's Pranab Mukherjee, China's Yang Jiechi and Sergei Lavrov of Russia "emphasized that they would continue to promote democratization of international relations and evolution of a more just and rational international order," said the statement, released by China's official Xinhua news agency. They said three-way ties would be "beneficial to the process of global multi-polarity" -- an indirect reference to the post-Cold War "uni-polar" system. In the years since NATO's war in the Balkans and increasingly since 9/11, Russia and China in particular have voiced unease about American "hegemony." Among other things, they both strongly oppose U.S. ballistic missile defense initiatives, an issue that came up at a press conference after the three-way meeting. The Pentagon argues for the need to provide protection against potential missile attack from terrorists or rogue states like Iran and North Korea, but Russia and China suspect that anti-missile shields would undermine their missile-based nuclear deterrents. Moscow's objections to plans to deploy an Iran-focused BMD shield in Central Europe are at the heart of current tensions in U.S.-Russia relations.

Lavrov on Wednesday repeated Russia's warning that it would take countermeasures if the plan goes ahead (President Vladimir Putin was threatened to abandon arms treaties and to aim missiles at Europe.) For its part, China is uneasy about U.S.-Japanese missile defense cooperation which -- although focused on the North Korean threat -- Beijing worries could become a factor in the event of any future armed conflict over Taiwan. "Not only will the missile defense program fail to meet the security concerns of the related country, but also it may possibly damage the world's strategic balance and stability," Yang said at the press conference. In response to a question, Mukherjee said that India has no plans to cooperate with U.S. missile defense programs. On another topic of current international concern -- Burma's violent suppression of pro-democracy protests -- the three foreign ministers took a shared position at odds with Washington, rejecting sanctions against the military junta. The three countries have strong economic and other ties with Burma, and the U.S. has urged China and India in particular to use their influence to steer Rangoon towards change. China and Russia, which as permanent members of the U.N. Security Council wield veto power, have blocked resolutions condemning the junta, objecting to what they see as outside interference in Burma's internal affairs. They did, however, sign on earlier this month to a council statement critical of the clampdown. Yang and Lavrov both said Wednesday that sanctions would make the situation in Burma worse, and Mukherjee agreed that "there should not be any sanctions at this stage."

'Opposing hegemony'

Although India and the Soviet Union were allies during the Cold War, the two countries' bilateral relations with China were for decades marred by border disputes, ideological differences and numerous other issues. After the Soviet Union collapsed, then-Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov during the late 1990s began pushing the concept of a Russia-India-China "strategic triangle." Three-way meetings initially involving scholars and officials began in 2001. A statement issued at the first meeting, in Moscow, noted that the three had "common or similar positions" on issues, including "democratization of international relations, formation of a multi-polar world, opposing hegemony [and] construction of a fair and rational new international order." Foreign ministers from the three nations have met seven times since 2002. India also has been invited to observe summits and joint military exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a six-country Asian grouping dominated by Russia and China. But in recent years, the U.S. also has moved to strengthen military, economic and diplomatic ties with India

Policy makers in the U.S. and India have described a landmark civilian nuclear cooperation deal between the two large democracies as a significant and strategic initiative. The agreement now is in grave trouble, however, as a result of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's failure to get communist allies' approval in parliament. Some Indian analysts argue that their country cannot afford to develop strategic ties with the U.S. to the exclusion of other important countries in its neighborhood. "India cannot afford to let go of its strategic autonomy," Gen. V.P. Malik, a former top Indian army general and now president of the Observer Research Foundation's Institute of Security Studies in New Delhi wrote this week. "In the present world order, a nation of India's stature and potential can and should play an independent role and cooperate or compete on issues with other nations, depending upon its national interests," he said. Dr. Subhash Kapila, a strategic affairs analyst with the India-based South Asia Analysis Group, also stressed India's need for "strategic autonomy." He noted that the evolving Indo-U.S. partnership was under "intense scrutiny" from China and Russia, and said India cannot afford to discount those power centers. India has been campaigning for several years for a permanent seat on an expanded U.N. Security Council. Wednesday's joint statement brought support from the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers, who said "their countries attach importance to the status of India in international affairs and understand and support India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations."


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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

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