Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A shift in Eurasia's strategic balance of power

China, Russia sign joint statement, pledge closer ties
People's Daily, UPDATED: 08:20, March 22, 2006

China and Russia signed a joint statement in Beijing Tuesday, pledging to tighten their ties by furthering cooperation in politics, energy and regional affairs.

Recalling their ten-year-old strategic partnership of coorperation, Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that "bilateral relations are at an unprecedented level of development".

Putin is on a two-day state visit to China from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Apart from the joint statement, the two heads of state also attended the signing of 14 cooperative agreements after their talks in the Great Hall of the People.

"The energy cooperation between China and Russia, as an important part of the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, is witnessing a high-level development, and is of great significance for further deepening bilateral economic cooperation," says the statement.

The two sides support companies from both nations to invest in the exploration of oil and gas resources and to tap energy potentials of both nations, according to the statement.

Russia expressed its strong support for the one-China policy. "The Russian side will continue to adhere to the one-China policy and recognize the government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of the whole of China," the statement says. And "Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory."

Russia opposes Taiwan joining the United Nations and other international organizations that only sovereign nations could join, and will not sell weapons to Taiwan, says the statement.

China and Russia, sharing a 4,300-km-long border, thoroughly settled their boundary disputes last year after 40 years of negotiations.

The completion of delimitation and the smooth implementation of the agreement on strengthening military trust and mutual reduction of armed forces on the border areas, as well as the agreement on common economic use of certain islands in the border rivers and surrounding waters during the past ten years, are conducive to peace and friendship on the China-Russia border areas, the statement says.

The friendly atmosphere on the border areas further deepens the exchanges and cooperation between neighbouring regions of the two countries, the joint statement says.

The joint statement also says the two sides reiterated that they will finish the delimitation of the remaining two parts of land along the China-Russia boundary line by the end of 2007.

Both sides also pointed out with satisfaction that the preparation for delimitation is proceeding as scheduled by both sides, according to the joint statement.

The statement also says the two countries will make close cooperation in solving the Iranian and Korean nuclear issues. "China and Russia promise to further push for the international mechanism of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons."

As to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, China and Russia reiterate that the six-party talks is the practical and effective approach to solving the nuclear issue, the statement says.

The two countries vowed to step up coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which groups Russia, China and four Central Asian states -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

"China and Russia will take the development of the SCO as a key link of diplomacy and continue to closely coordinate stances within the framework of the SCO," the statement says.

The SCO has become a unique force in international relations since its establishment five years ago and played a special role in effectively tackling transnational threats and challenges, the statement says.

The SCO summit is scheduled for June in Shanghai.

The joint statement says both China and Russia support an early resumption of the Palestine-Israel negotiation process, and the formation of the Palestinian State, which enjoys sovereignty and democracy, and shares security and peace with its neighbor Israel.

Both countries always maintain that the situation in Iraq should be stabilized as soon as possible, and Iraq's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity should be safeguarded, says the statement.

As for the situation in Central Asia, the joint statement says the stability and security of Central Asian nations, as well as their constant economic and social development are in the immediate interest of China and Russia.

Source: Xinhua

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