Russian-Chinese relations have reached "unheard-of" level - Chinese Premier - 2007

Russian-Chinese relations have reached "unheard-of" level - Chinese Premier


Russian-Chinese relations have reached "an unheard-of level" and entered a qualitatively new phase in their development, Chinese State Council Premier Wen Jiabao said. "Judging by the level of mutual trust, intensity of contacts, and results of cooperation, it is safe to say that our strategic interaction has reached an unheard-of level in terms of its range and depth, and relations between our countries have entered a qualitatively new phase in their development," Wen said in an interview with Interfax. The Chinese premier recalled that the leaders of the two countries had set goals for the development of relations of strategic interaction and partnership between Russia and China in March. "Both countries should seek to build partnership marked by sincerity and mutual confidence in politics, mutual trust and common preferences in the economy, joint contributions to innovation in the scientific and technological areas, harmony and friendship in the field of humanities and culture, and solidarity and mutual assistance in the security field," he said. To attain such goals, the two countries should make efforts in several areas, including politics, trade and economic relations, scientific-technological and humanitarian cooperation, he said. Wen said he was confident that Beijing and Moscow need "to step up cooperation in the area of strategic security, efficiently oppose new threats and challenges, and defend common interests of the two countries by making a worthy contribution to the cause of peace, stability, and development worldwide." Wen highly praised the results of the China Year in Russia and the Russia Year in China and called for "analyzing the record of their organization and putting on the events that proved to be the most popular with our peoples on a regular basis." The organization of the China Year in Russia and the Russia Year in China "was aimed at strengthening long-term friendship between our peoples and comprehensively improving the level of strategic interaction and partnership between China and Russia," Wen said. "This was an unprecedented event in the entire history of Chinese-Russian relations," he said.


In related news:

Analysis: West Asian oil for Chinese arms

A Chinese aviation industry official says the country is introducing a new batch of military equipment to the international market. This includes an FBC2 fighter-bomber, an upgraded version of its JH7A fighter, intended for export. China is now promoting its FBC2 and J10A fighters to Iran. The J10A was officially offered on the overseas market this year, but under the name FC20. The new generation YJ6-2 and C802A anti-ship missiles are also being promoted to Middle East countries including Iran. Sudan is reportedly seeking to acquire FC1 fighters from China. As China faces an ever greater demand for energy, it is importing more crude oil from West Asian countries in recent years. It is also exerting greater political and military influence upon this region through expanded sales of military weapons. The long shadow of Chinese weapons has fallen over all six Gulf countries, and continues to do so. Iran has already become an important source of oil for China, as well as a key target market for China's arms exports. Not only does the Iranian military have operational Chinese-made QW1 and FM80 ground-to-air missiles, they are also producing batches of the missiles within their country. Iran seems to have upgraded the QW1, or Mithaq-1, to Mithaq-2. The exterior structure of the newer missile seems to be different from the QW2 portable missiles. The FM80's Iranian name is Shahab Thaqueb. This is the first time for China to export such ground-to-air missiles to another country. As for cooperation between Iran's navy and China's missile industry, it is widely known that Iran has acquired C802 anti-ship missiles from China. Iran has also started manufacturing its own ship-to-ship and land-to-ship versions of these missiles.

China first exported 200 of the C802 missiles to Iran in 1998. They were later renamed "Noor" by Iran. During the same period of time, the Iranian Navy also imported 10 Houdong (Thondor) class missile fast attack craft, each armed with four units of C802 missiles. A second agreement on naval cooperation was finalized in 2000. According to the agreement between the two countries, Iran will eventually acquire a total of 10 "China Cat" missile fast attack craft, each of which will be fitted with 4 FL-10 serial ship-to-ship missiles produced by Hongdu Group Ltd. Iran will also build more "China Cat" missile fast attack craft indigenously. The Iranian Navy also plans to purchase LY60 ship-to-air missiles. In addition to the above programs, the exterior and structure of a number of Iran's other advanced weapon systems seem to connect them with China. For instance, the Iranian edition SHKVAL-E heavy-duty torpedo that made its appearance in recent naval exercises has caught the attention of military observers. Only Russia, Ukraine and China have the technologies to produce this type of torpedo. Kazakhstan had the capability to assemble this torpedo during the Soviet Union years and exported 40 such torpedoes to China. A source from the Russian military industry says that they did not transfer similar production technologies to Iran.

At the same time it has been exporting large batches of arms to Iran, China has also received huge business opportunities in Iran as well as a stable oil supply. Chinese companies are not only actively involved in the construction of an underground railroad system in Tehran, but are also helping Iran to develop its oil resources. China's oil imports from the Middle East now make up as much as 40 percent of the country's total oil purchases. In the first quarter of 2006, from Iran alone China imported 377,000 barrels of oil per day. China's total imports of oil from Iran in 2005 rose to more than 14 million tons, amounting to a little over 11 percent of China's annual oil imports. Solid military cooperation between the two countries has guaranteed a stable trade between China and Iran, which is very much immune to changes in the international situation. Iran has also agreed to supply China with 3 million tons of liquidized natural gas annually over the next 25 years, lifting the total export to 75 million tons. Bilateral trade between Iran and China has reached US$7 billion annually. Other Chinese weapon systems in operational service in the Iranian armed forces include 100 Type 59 tanks, 100 Type 54 122-mm howitzers and 24 J7M fighters. Saudi Arabia has become China's single biggest source of oil supply. Since 1980s, China has been actively promoting military weapons to this country. In 1988, China exported to Riyadh 40-50 1,700-km-ranged DF3 ground-to-ground missiles and 10 sets of towed launchers.

In 2000, observers of Middle East military affairs said that Saudi Arabia hoped China would help upgrade these missiles so as to enhance their strike accuracy. Pakistan has been promoting Al-Khalid main battle tanks to Saudi Arabia for two consecutive years. It plans to deliver the MBT directly to Riyadh for testing within this year. Last year, two Saudi ground force delegations visited Pakistan and field-tested this MBT. The Al-Khalid MBT specifically targeted at Saudi Arabia is equipped with the thermal imaging system produced by the French SAGEM Company. Saudi Arabia will need at least 150 of the tanks, totaling around US$600 million. This Al-Khalid MBT was jointly developed by Pakistan and China. An authoritative source from Islamabad says that the promotion of the K8 trainer to Saudi Arabia is what China and Pakistan feel most confident about. China and Pakistan have jointly promoted to Egypt 80 K8 trainers and have sold Egypt the production technology of the aircraft. In 2005, bilateral trade between China and Saudi Arabia reached US$16 billion, in which China's exports to Saudi Arabia were valued at US$3.82 billion. At present, China is importing 1.9 million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia every day. In 2005 Saudi Arabia exported to China a total of 22 million tons of oil, mainly used as China's strategic energy reserve. Oman is China's fifth largest source of oil. It exported 10 million tons of crude oil to China in 2005, approximately 8.5 percent of China's total oil imports in that year. With China's increased demand for oil, China's promotion of military weapon systems to Oman is also becoming more active. Around 2001, Chinese arms successfully penetrated the Oman market. In that year, NORINCO exported to Oman six sets of Type 90A rocket guns, and later NORINCO also promoted to the Oman Royal Guards a new batch of Type 90B rocket launchers.

Almost during the same period of time, NORINCO sold to the Oman Royal Guards around 50 WMZ551 wheeled armored vehicles, which was the first time for China to export wheeled armored vehicles to the Middle East Region. The United Arab Emirates is one of the key target markets of China's arms promotion in the Middle East region. The UAE was in fact the first country to use the Chinese made HJ8A anti-tank missiles. Around 2003, NORINCO exported to UAE one 23-mm rapid-fire gun for testing purposes. In 2005, UAE exported to China 2.5 million tons of crude oil, which made up about 2 percent of China's total oil imports. China was also one of the first countries to target Kuwait's rebuilding of its military machine. China's most successful promotion of arms to Kuwait was the deal of 27 sets of PLZ45 155-mm self-propelled guns in 2000. These self-propelled guns were delivered to Kuwait in two different batches, totaling 54. In 2005, China imported 1.6 million tons of oil from Kuwait, approximately 1.3 percent of China's total oil imports. In 2005, Yemen exported to China 6.8 million tons of crude oil, which makes up 5.4 percent of China's total oil imports, and Yemen is China's sixth largest source of oil. In recent years, China's financial loans to Yemen and economic aid have also increased. In 1989, North Yemen purchased 6 J7 fighters from China. At present, thanks to rapid economic recovery, Yemen is expanding its navy and air force arsenals. Yemen has ordered a batch of the latest version of MiG29SMT fighters from Russia. It can be concluded that China is using arms sales and oil development as its leverage to further strengthen its relations with oil-rich countries in West Asia, and at the same time stepping up efforts to sell more arms to most of the six Gulf countries.


Gates in Beijing for Talks on Military Buildup

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived Sunday in Beijing to begin two days of talks with senior leaders, and Pentagon officials said he planned to press for a more open dialogue on China’s military while discussing ways to build trust and cooperation. “I don’t consider China at this point a military threat to the United States,” Mr. Gates said before he left for China. “I have concerns with a variety of military programs that they have under way,” he added. “I have concern with the lack of transparency. And those are the kinds of issues that we will be talking about, in addition to how we can strengthen the relationship.” Senior Defense Department officials say China has undertaken an aggressive military modernization campaign that will result in more submarines, surface warships and combat aircraft able to challenge foreign armed forces across the region. But the Chinese military operates in ways that are far more opaque than Western armed forces, Pentagon officials say, leaving the United States uncertain about the exact size of China’s military budget or its long-range military goals. “What does the military buildup mean for us and the rest of the region?” a senior Defense Department official said, speaking anonymously because he was commenting in advance on high-level meetings, as he described issues Mr. Gates planned to discuss with his hosts. According to Pentagon statistics, the official Chinese military budget grew by almost 18 percent this year. But Pentagon officials say that figure does not represent the nation’s entire spending on national security. While the Bush administration has welcomed a prosperous and peaceful China, American officials regularly encourage it to take on more responsibility for maintaining stability in a global system that has rewarded Chinese economic interests. Thus, looking beyond the Pacific Rim, Mr. Gates is expected to press Beijing to contribute further to economic sanctions intended to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which could be a prickly issue given China’s growing economic ties with Iran. “We think China could do more on Iran,” said the senior Pentagon official traveling with the defense secretary. Mr. Gates, making his first visit to China as defense secretary, succeeded Donald H. Rumsfeld, who issued a number of provocative statements on the Chinese military before leaving office last December. Ties between the Chinese and American military had already improved since a crisis after a 2001 collision of a Chinese fighter jet with an American reconnaissance aircraft. Other issues expected to be raised in the sessions in Beijing include stalled plans for a military-to-military telephone link between the two nations, as well as China’s recent test of an antisatellite weapon. The test greatly concerned the American military, given its reliance on satellites for communications, finding targets and global positioning. “If you are sitting in the Pentagon, China is a potential peer competitor,” said Michael J. Green, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington policy institute. “You want to shape Chinese decisions, to dissuade China from choosing military or other destabilizing solutions to their problems and to encourage them to be a responsible stakeholder,” said Mr. Green, senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council in 2004 and 2005. “For that, you need a credible military deterrent — alliances, presence. But you also have to use reassuring language.”


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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.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

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