Tag Archives: China

China 2016 military budget to rise 7.6 percent

Military delegates arrive at the Great Hall of the People before a meeting ahead of Saturday’s opening ceremony of the National People’s Congress (NPC), in Beijing, China March 4, 2016.

China will increase military spending by 7.6 percent this year to 954.35 billion yuan ($146.67 billion), the government announced on Saturday.

Last year, defense spending was budgeted to rise 10.1 percent to 886.9 billion yuan.

On Friday, the spokeswoman for China’s parliament said the 2016 rise would be about 7 to 8 percent.

($1 = 6.5066 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 

 

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Chinese FM: Downing of Russian Su-24 bomber in anti-ISIS op in Syria undermines intl efforts

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong asks journalists for questions during a news conference in Beijing

The downing of the Russian Su-24 bomber over Syria while carrying out anti-terrorist operations is a great loss to the international efforts in the fight against terrorism, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. “We have taken note that the downed Russian plane was fulfilling a mission… It was downed while destroying terrorist targets in Syrian territory,” Hong Lei said

Late last month, China said the downing of the Russian jet-fighter by Turkey needed to be “further clarified.”

“China is deeply concerned about this issue,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei told a press briefing when asked to comment, according to Xinhua.

Hong Lei said: “China supports all international efforts on anti-terrorism,” adding that Beijing wants more communication between those involved.

Last week, Moscow started analyzing the Su-24’s flight recorder. It was opened live in front of international experts and journalists during a press conference. The Russian military has invited experts from 14 nations to work on the black box, but only China and British experts have so far agreed to take part, Lieutenant General Sergey Dronov, deputy commander of the Russian Air and Space Forces, told the media on Friday.

On November 24, a Turkish F-16 downed a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, killing one pilot and seriously straining relations between Moscow and Ankara. Turkey refused to apologize, insisting the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been warned many times before the F-16 fired its air-to-air missile. The Russian military has repeatedly stated the aircraft was shot down over Syria and that the Turkish fighter jet attacked from behind.

In the wake of the incident, Moscow introduced multiple sanctions against Ankara, banning agricultural trade with Turkey, reintroducing a visa regime and suspending most bilateral economic projects.

Source: Chinese FM: Downing of Russian Su-24 bomber in anti-ISIS op in Syria undermines intl efforts — RT News

China marks 70th V-Day anniversary with spectacular parade

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Celebrating the 70th anniversary of Japan’s capitulation in WWII, China has showcased hundreds of its newest military hardware in a remarkable parade which saw some 12,000 troops marching across Tiananmen Square in front of dozens of world leaders.

Some 30 foreign leaders attended the memorial event, representing countries from Russia and Belarus, to Egypt, South Korea and Venezuela. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also attended the parade, while the majority of “high-profile” Western leaders have passed on the event.

Over 200 Chinese aircraft, including fighter jets, bombers and dozens of helicopters, zoomed above the fascinated crowd.China has rolled out seven types of missiles on to Tiananmen Square, including four ballistic nuclear missiles.

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Among them was the Dong Feng-21D anti-aircraft-carrier medium-range nuclear missile (‘Carrier-Killer’), which currently is the world’s only ballistic missile capable of engaging a moving target out at sea.

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Beijing also demonstrated the Dong Feng-26 nuclear missile, a medium-range ballistic projectile prohibited in Russia and the US because of a bilateral agreement. This intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) was dubbed the “Guam killer” because it can reach the US Pacific Ocean base.The PLA also presented its newest intercontinental strategic ballistic missiles, the DF-5 with a range of 12,000 kilometers and the DF-31A – range 8,000 kilometers.During an almost two-hour-long People’s Liberation Army (PLA) parade, several hundred military vehicles of around 40 different types rolled across the square.The whole event was accompanied by an army orchestra and a 2,400-strong massed choir that sang some 30 songs.Chinese troops were not marching alone on the commemorative date: They were joined by their fellow soldiers from Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Serbia, Tajikistan and Russia.Additionally, for the first time in the history of Chinese parades, female soldiers marched on Tiananmen Square.Addressing the nation and guests prior to the show, President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s commitment to the path of peace.“Prejudice and discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and pain,” Xi said,announcing plans to reduce the number of the country’s troops by 300,000, some 13 percent of the current 2.3-million strong PLA, as part of the country’s long-term military reform.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who took part in the celebratory events in Beijing on Thursday, said that the lessons of World War II should be remembered to minimize military conflicts around the world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) talks to former President Jiang Zemin (R) next to Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) and South Korea's President Park Geun-hye on the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) talks to former President Jiang Zemin (R) next to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (2nd L) and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye on the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015

During a meeting with Xi, he agreed with his counterpart that Russia and China are “united by a strategic relationship and, as we say, a comprehensive partnership,” adding “what is also important is the way we perceive historical problems.”

Russia and China should not forget “the cruel actions of invaders on the temporarily occupied territories, which resulted in innumerable victims.”

But we must remember this to make sure that nothing like this happens again in the future. I listened carefully to your speech at the parade, I believe that was the main message of your speech addressed to the people of China and the peoples of the entire world, namely: everything must be done to prevent large-scale military conflicts in the future and to minimize military conflicts in general,” Putin said.

t the meeting, Putin confirmed that large bilateral projects will be implemented despite “economic turbulence in Russia and China.”

During bilateral meetings today, we exchanged opinions, and we have full confidence that we will move forward consistently, develop our relations, implement our plans, including large projects which will definitely have a positive effect on the development of the Russian and Chinese economies, and the global economy as a whole,” he said.

​China, Russia to hold first-ever Mediterranean naval exercise

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Chinese and Russian naval vessels are seen during Joint Sea-2014 naval exercise outside Shanghai on the East China Sea, May 23, 2014

The Russian and Chinese Navies are to hold a joint exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May, a first in that part of the world. A total of nine warships from the two countries are to participate, Beijing said.

“The aim is to deepen both countries’ friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies’ ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats,” Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on Thursday in a monthly news briefing.

“What needs saying is that these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation,” he added, saying that the Chinese Navy would contribute its warships currently on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

Russia and China have previously held joint naval exercises in the Pacific in waters they both have direct access to. The Mediterranean Sea Cooperation-2015 drill would focus on navigation safety, at-sea replenishment, escort missions and live fire exercises, Geng said.

Moscow and Beijing are intensifying defense cooperation as both countries oppose US criticism of its military policies. China is being accused of aggressive deployments in the South China Sea, where it is contesting territories with several regional nations. The PLA’s Navy and Air Force have been increasingly at odds with Japan and South Korea, key American allies.

Russia has been subjected to economic sanctions over its position in Ukraine which, according to Washington, is threatening its NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

Hong Kong protests: What are they about, who’s behind them, what do they want and what is the response?

Pro-democracy protesters are continuing demonstrations in Hong Kong, with riot police responding with tear gas.

What had Beijing decreed that protesters are not happy about?

Elections for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive – its leader – are due to take place in 2017 and for the first time will use votes from the general public.

However last month, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) ruled out further voting reforms, meaning that only the candidates that Beijing approves of can run.

The four previous Chief Executives – following the end of British rule in 1997 – were elected by a committee of 1,200 people, many of whom had strong ties to China. This committee size has grown from 400 in 1996.

Though China declared that its bold move to allow the vote for the 2017 elections is something “we should all feel proud of”, it didn’t go far enough for the protesters, who criticised it as still muzzling those with differing political views.

Occupy Central said in a statement at the time: “Genuine universal suffrage includes both the rights to elect and to be elected.

“The decision of the NPC Standing Committee has deprived people with different political views of the right to run for election and be elected by imposing unreasonable restrictions, thereby perpetuating ‘handpicked politics’.”

The "Umbrella Revolution": Riot police launch tear gas into the crowd as thousands of protesters surround the government headquarters in Hong Kong

The “Umbrella Revolution”: Riot police launch tear gas into the crowd as thousands of protesters surround the government headquarters in Hong Kong

What is Occupy Central’s demands?

In an English-language statement on its website today the movement said it has two distinct demands:

The immediate withdrawal of the NPCSC’s decision on the framework for Hong Kong’s political reform

The swift resumption of the political reform consultation. The Leung Chun-ying administration has failed in the political reform process. We demand Leung re-submits a new political reform report to the central government which fully reflects the Hong Kong people’s aspirations for democracy. If Leung refuses to respond, the action will escalate.

Today’s statement added: “The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives.

“The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act.”

Who initiated Occupy Central?

A law professor called Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who started the campaign in January 2013.

What is the police and governmental response to today’s formal sit-in?

Police have sealed off the site at Tamar, leaving hundreds of other people not able to reach that protest blocking other thoroughfares instead, the South China Morning Post says. It is thought that are tens of thousands of people in and around the protest zone.

Political protests are prohibited by Beijing and this trickles down to Hong Kong, which after British rule came back under Chinese power in a “one country, two systems” set-up.

Leaders of China’s ruling Communist Party are worried that the dissent could spread to the mainland.

The current Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying, has implored people not to participate in “illegal” protests.

He also said today that the government will start a new round of consultations on electoral reform shortly, according to Reuters, though there was no mention of when this would be.

Some violent clashes happened in the two days until Sunday, with riot police targeting students with pepper spray and arresting at least 78.

Protesters are today equipped with umbrellas, goggles and masks ready for further confrontations with police after officers warned them to “leave now, for the sake of their personal safety”.

Russian, Chinese leaders to open joint naval drills off China’s coast

Joint Sea 2014 drills are regular exercises held by the Chinese and Russian navies, which are aimed at enhancing practical cooperation between the two militaries

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

SHANGHAI, May 20. ITAR-TASS.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met on Tuesday at a naval port in Shanghai to officially open joint Russia-China naval drills.

Six warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, led by a missile cruiser, the Varyag, entered Shanghai’s port of Wusong on Sunday for the joint naval drills with China code-named Joint Sea 2014 and running on May 20-26 in the northern waters of the East China Sea.

President Putin, who is on an official visit to China on May 20-21, was greeted by Chinese leader Xi Jinping as he had arrived at the port.

The Russian delegation to China, led by Putin, includes Deputy Prime Ministers Arkady Dvorkovich and Dmitry Rogozin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Chief of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin and Navy chief Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov.

The Chinese delegation represented at the port of Wusong includes Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and other high-ranking officials.

Besides the Varyag, a Slava-class missile cruiser with anti-aircraft and anti-submarine striking capabilities, the grouping of Russian warships includes the destroyer Bystry, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, the large amphibious ship Admiral Nevelskoy, the tanker Ilim and the sea-going tugboat Kalar.

The Russian side also brought two Su-30MK2 fighter jets, combat helicopters and special task marine forces as the Chinese Navy added six of its warships for the drills, which enter the active phase on May 23-24.

China’s CCTV.com cited on Sunday Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese Navy Tian Zhong as saying that the exercise would be “different from previous China-Russia joint sea drills.”

“The two sides will mix all the warships together for the first time, and the ships will carry out battle exercises beyond visibility for the first time,” Tian Zhong was quoted as saying.

Chinese Defense Ministry earlier reported that the Joint Sea 2014 drills are regular exercises held by the Chinese and Russian navies, and are aimed to enhance practical cooperation between the two militaries and to strengthen their capabilities to jointly deal with maritime security threats.

The two nations held naval drills off Russia’s Far East coast in the Sea of Japan last July. Exercises assembling some 20 warships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet and China’s North and South Sea Fleets were described by China as the largest the country had undertaken with a foreign force.

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China summons US envoy over cyber-spying charges, vows retaliation

China has dismissed all US accusations of industrial cyber-espionage against five of its military officials and published proof that Washington is actually stealing data from China. Beijing also summoned the US ambassador for an explanation.

Beijing reacted to Washington’s recent round of industrial espionage accusations by publishing its latest data on US cyber-attacks against China.

China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (NCNERTTCC) reported that during just two months, from March 19 to May 18, the US directly controlled 1.18 million host computers in China using 2,077 Trojan horse networks or botnet servers.

According to the NCNERTTCC, over the last two months 135 host computers stationed in the US conducted 14,000 phishing operations against Chinese websites using for the attacks 563 phishing pages. The other hacking activities through the same period of time included 57,000 backdoor attacks, performed from 2,016 IP addresses in the US through backdoors implanted on 1,754 Chinese websites.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the American ambassador to China for an explanation, urging him to drop all charges against China’s military officers. The meeting between Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang and US Ambassador Max Baucus took place on Monday night, reported Xinhua.

Depending on further developments, China “will take further action on the so-called charges by the United States,” Zheng told Baucus.

“The Chinese government and military and its associated personnel have never conducted or participated in the theft of trade secrets over the internet,” Zheng reportedly told Baucus as quoted by Xinhua.

America’s attitude to internet security is “overbearing and hypocritical,” Zheng told Baucus, urging the US to finally give a clear explanation on multiple reports that America’s National Security Agency is spying after Chinese government, businesses, universities and individuals.

On the other side of the Pacific, China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai “made solemn representations” to the US State Department, China News Service reported on Tuesday.

Chinese Minister of Defense Chang Wanquan (R) shakes hands with US Ambassador to China Max Baucus (L)

“The accusations that the United States have made against these Chinese officials are purely fictitious and extremely absurd,” Chinese ambassador to the US is quoted as saying.

Geng Yansheng, spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, accused Washington of hypocrisy and damaging bilateral military ties.

“From ‘WikiLeaks’ to the ‘Snowden’ affairs, the hypocrisy and double standards of the US side on the issue of internet security has been clear for a long time,” said the spokesman as cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Beijing insists that while the US accused China of industrial cyber-spying on multiple occasions, America itself is waging unprecedented cyber warfare against China, infiltrating all kinds of the country’s networks – government and business alike – also targeting both civilians and officials through mobile phones.

After the revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden the US has been criticized by most of the world powers, as it turned out that America is spying after literally every state and every person found necessary.

For example back in 2012 Washington accused Chinese telecom giants, including the world’s second-largest global supplier of telecommunications equipment, Huawei, of posing a threat to America’s national security through ‘tapping’ their routers, switches and other telecoms equipment.

Two years later it turned out that the US was not only spying on Huawei, but America’s NSA has been actually embedding surveillance tools within computer hardware exported from the US.

On Monday, the US personalized accusations of industrial cyber-espionage against China, charging five military officials with hacking attacks against American companies.

Beijing dismissed all the accusations as groundless and based on fabricated facts, blaming Washington of imperiling China-US “cooperation and mutual trust” in a released statement.

“China is steadfast in upholding cyber-security,” the statement maintains. “The Chinese government, the Chinese military and their relevant personnel have never engaged or participated in cyber-theft of trade secrets. The US accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded and absurd,” the document said.

US attorney General Eric Holder leveled charges against China of stealing confidential data and business secrets in order to give Chinese companies competitive advantage over American corporations in the nuclear and solar technology sectors.

According to the Justice Department, the grand jury’s indictment must become a “wake-up call” for the American nation to realize the scale of cyber intrusions.

The companies that allegedly suffered from espionage are such industrial giants as Alcoa World Alumina, Allegheny Technologies, SolarWorld, US Steel Corporation, the United Steelworkers Union and Westinghouse Electric.

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Russian battleships in Shanghai for joint naval drills

Russian anti-surface destroyer Bystry arrives at a port ahead of the “Joint Sea-2014” naval drill, in Shanghai, May 18, 2014.

A squadron of Russia’s Navy Pacific Fleet has arrived in Shanghai to participate in joint Russian-Chinese naval training dubbed ‘Joint Sea-2014’. The drills in the northern part of the East China Sea start on Tuesday and will go on until May 26.

The Russian squadron consists of six battleships and support vessels: the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, missile cruiser Varyag, anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, large landing ship Admiral Nevelskoy, anti-surface destroyer Bystry, tanker Ilim and ocean tug Kalar.

Chinese sailors stand in formation in front of national flags of Russia (L) and China, as they get ready for a welcoming ceremony for Russian naval vessels ahead of the “Joint Sea-2014” naval drill, at a port in Shanghai, May 18, 2014.

The Chinese Navy will be represented in the naval drills with six battleships.

All in all, during the active phase of the drills set for May 22-25, the maneuvers involve 14 ships, two submarines, nine warplanes, six shipboard helicopters and two operational detachments of marines from both sides.

All ships taking part in the training exercise are moored at the Usun naval military base in Shanghai.

A delegation of Russian Navy officers has already joined their Chinese colleagues to compare notes on the plan of the drills.

Chinese Vice Admiral Tian Zhong revealed to journalists that the major difference of the starting drills will be the increased difficulty of joint operations of battleships on both sides.

Russian anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev (R) arrives at a port ahead of the “Joint Sea-2014” naval drill, in Shanghai, May 18, 2014

For the first time, Russian and Chinese sailors will operate within a mixed group of battleship from the two counties, holding joint missile and artillery strikes against sea targets at different ranges and performing anti-submarine activities.

“Accumulated experience of interaction will allow us to increase the possibility of conducting joint actions of the two fleets to perform a wide range of tasks,” the top brass Chinese naval officer said.

Tian Zhong (R), deputy commander of the Chinese Navy and Alexander Fedotenkov, deputy commander-in-chief of Russian Navy, attend a news conference as directors of the upcoming “Joint Sea-2014” naval drill, at a port in Shanghai, May 18, 2014.

The crews of the Russian and Chinese warships made courtesy visits on board each other’s battleships to learn more about military hardware and service conditions.

Chinese officers will be given a formal reception on the Russian flagship, the Varyag, on Monday evening.
Russian sailors not taking part in preparations have been taken ashore for excursions organized by their Chinese hosts.

Russian sailors (L) salute to Chinese sailors as they visit Russian guided missile cruiser Varyag ahead of the “Joint Sea-2014” naval drill, at a port in Shanghai, May 19, 2014.

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Russia-China ties at highest level in history – Putin

Russia-China cooperation has reached its highest level ever, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in an interview with Chinese media on the eve of his visit to Shanghai, where a record package of documents is expected to be signed by the two nations.

Below is the full transcript of the Russian president’s interview with Chinese Central Television, Xinhua news agency, China News Service, The People’s Daily, China Radio International, and Phoenix Television.

Question: What are your expectations concerning the upcoming visit to China? What results do you expect from the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Shanghai?

Vladimir Putin: I am always happy to visit hospitable China. It is a pleasure to see how our neighbour is transforming right before our eyes. Shanghai is a vivid illustration of this.

Establishing closer ties with the People’s Republic of China – our trusted friend – is Russia’s unconditional foreign policy priority.

Now Russia-China cooperation is advancing to a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction. It would not be wrong to say that it has reached the highest level in all its centuries-long history.

I am looking forward to a new meeting with President of China Xi Jinping, with whom I have good working and personal relations. We will discuss how previous agreements are being implemented and outline new objectives for the future. I am sure that the upcoming talks will give a powerful impetus to further strengthening of bilateral cooperation in all areas and deeper coordination in the international arena. The summit’s results and future plans will be reflected in the Joint Statement by the Heads of State and a strong package of documents expected to be signed during the visit.

Russia and China have actively advocated establishing a new security and sustainable development architecture in the Asia-Pacific. It should be based on the principles of equality, respect for international law, indivisibility of security, non-use of force or threat of force. Today this task is becoming increasingly important. The forthcoming Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) serves to contribute to addressing this task.

CICA is a well-established cooperation mechanism. It has been successfully working in such spheres as security, new challenges and threats, economy, environmental protection and humanitarian issues, all of which are important for the region.

Russia has taken an active part in CICA’s activities. In mid-April 2014, members of the Conference approved the Statute of the CICA Business Council sponsored by Russia. I am confident that the launch of the Council will enhance practical ties between business communities of the Asian countries.

At the upcoming summit, the Secretariats of CICA and SCO are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. That would serve as another step towards shaping a framework of partnerships between this region’s organisations and forums.

Q: China is consistently making progress towards the “Chinese dream”, i.e. a great national rebirth. Russia has also set a goal of restoring a powerful state. How, in your opinion, could our countries interact and help each other in fulfilling these tasks? What areas can be prioritised in this regard?

VP: Promotion of friendly and good-neighbourly partnership relations is fully consistent with the interests of both Russia and China. We do not have any political issues left which could impede the enhancement of our comprehensive cooperation.

Through joint efforts, we have established a truly exemplary collaboration, which should become a model for major world powers.

It is based on respect for the fundamental interests of each other and efficient work for the benefit of the peoples of our two countries.

Russia and China successfully cooperate in the international arena and closely coordinate their steps to address international challenges and crises. Our positions on the main global and regional issues are similar or even identical.

It is encouraging that both sides are willing to further deepen their cooperation. Both Moscow and Beijing are well aware that our countries have not exhausted their potentials. We have a way to go. The priority areas of collaboration at the current stage include the expansion of economic ties and cooperation in science and high-technology sector. Such pooling of capacities is very helpful in fulfilling the tasks of domestic development of our countries.

Q: Cooperation between China and Russia has been steadily increasing, but uncertainties in global economy persist. The emerging markets are faced with new challenges and slowdown of economic growth. How can our two countries help each other to counter these challenges? How can we ensure steady increase of mutual trade and reciprocal investments?

VP: In the context of turbulent global economy, the strengthening of mutually beneficial trade and economic ties, as well as the increase of investment flows between Russia and China are of paramount importance. This is not just a crucial element of socioeconomic development of our countries, but a contribution to the efforts aimed at stabilising the entire global market.

Today, Russia firmly places China at the top of its foreign trade partners.

In 2013, the volume of bilateral trade was close to $90 billion, which is far from being the limit. We will try to increase trade turnover to $100 billion by 2015 and up to $200 billion by 2020.

Our countries successfully cooperate in the energy sector. We steadily move towards the establishment of a strategic energy alliance. A large‑scale project worth over $60 billion is underway to supply China with crude oil via the Skovorodino-Mohe pipeline.

The arrangements on export of Russian natural gas to China have been nearly finalised. Their implementation will help Russia to diversify pipeline routes for natural gas supply, and our Chinese partners to alleviate the concerns related to energy deficit and environmental security through the use of “clean” fuel.

At the same time, we are working actively to reduce dependence of bilateral trade on external market conditions. Therefore, in order to develop trade and economic cooperation we pay particular attention to the breakthrough areas such as higher energy efficiency, environmental protection, production of drugs and medical equipment, developing new information technologies, as well as nuclear energy and outer space.

We implement a list of joint projects in 40 priority areas with total investments of about $20 billion.

These areas include civil aircraft industry. An agreement has been reached on joint design of a wide-body long-range aircraft. In the future we will develop a heavy helicopter. I am sure that our companies can manufacture and supply competitive products to the world markets.

We also intend to actively develop investment cooperation, the scope of which obviously does not meet real capacities and needs of our countries yet. We have examples of successful projects. I would like to note the participation of Chinese capital in the reconstruction of an airport in the Kaluga Region and building of plants for production of automotive parts and construction materials in that Russian constituent entity.

To our mind, there are many other promising areas for investments. We can point to different branches of machine engineering, processing of agricultural products, mining operations, and development of transport and energy infrastructure.

We must also strengthen financial cooperation and protect ourselves from exchange-rate fluctuations among the world’s major currencies. Therefore, we are now considering how to increase mutual settlements in national currencies.

Q: Russia has recently announced the creation of a special economic zone in Vladivostok. What could, in your view, be the role of China in its creation and in the development of the Russian Far East as a whole?

VP: Accelerated socioeconomic development of Siberia and the Far East is one of Russia’s key national priorities for the 21st century. We are now implementing a whole package of programmes to modernise and upgrade transport, energy and social infrastructure in these regions.

We are aiming at the creation of special areas of advanced economic development with an investment-friendly environment.

Competitive conditions for launching export-oriented enterprises in non-primary sectors have been created.

In the areas of advanced development, new companies will enjoy some substantial benefits. These are tax holidays with respect to a number of taxes and reduced insurance premium rates; liberalisation of the customs regime, including free customs zones; special rules for access to land and for connecting to infrastructure facilities.

Today, the relevant federal law is being finalised. Development institutions are being created and promising centres are being selected. One of them will probably be established in Vladivostok on Russky Island where the APEC 2012 Summit took place.

Obviously, we are interested in Chinese businessmen making use of these opportunities and becoming one of the leaders here, since both Russia and China will benefit from an accelerated development of the Russian Far East.

It is important not to limit our relations to trade. It is essential to establish strong technological and industrial alliances; attract investments to the infrastructure and energy sectors; to jointly promote scientific research and humanitarian contacts; lay a solid foundation for a sustainable long-term development of our trade and economic relations. And the Russian Far East can and must become a natural venue for the said efforts.

Q: How would you rate the present level of cooperation between our countries in the humanitarian sphere and its prospects? Which projects within the framework of reciprocal theme years (national, language, tourism, youth exchanges) have impressed you most?

VP: The humanitarian contacts between Russia and China are in keeping with the steady development of the whole complex of strategic partnership relations between our countries. At the moment, their level is as high as never before. The major projects of national, language and tourism theme years in which millions of our citizens participated, have played a significant role in that.

It is noteworthy that a number of events are now being carried out on a regular basis. These are festivals of culture, film weeks, youth sports games, student festivals, camps for schoolchildren and students, fora for university principals, exhibitions of educational services and many other events.

An intergovernmental project of the Russia-China Youth Friendly Exchanges Years planned for 2014–2015 was launched this March. The performance of the recently created Russian-Chinese philharmonic youth orchestra, headed by the artistic director and principal conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre Valery Gergiev, has become a highlight of the theme years’ launch in St Petersburg.

Of course, we are not going to settle down. The mutual interest of youth in history, culture and traditions of the peoples of China and Russia is increasing. It is an objective process, and we are committed to fully supporting it in the future.

Q: In 2015, our countries will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory over fascism. What is the impact of joint Russian-Chinese efforts to oppose the attempts aimed at challenging the results of World War II?

VP: It is true that the attempts to rewrite and distort history are becoming more frequent.

Four years ago Russia and China adopted a Joint Statement on the 65th Anniversary of Victory in the Second World War.

We share an idea that it is unacceptable to revise the results of the war, as the consequences will be extremely grave.

It is clearly evident from the tragic events currently unfolding in Ukraine, where violent neo-Nazis are waging a real campaign of terror against civilians.

I would like to express my gratitude to our Chinese friends for cherishing the memory of thousands of our compatriots, who sacrificed their lives to liberate Northeast China from invaders.

Next year we will hold a range of joint events to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory both in the bilateral and the SCO format. During these events, youth will be in the focus of our work.

We will certainly continue to oppose attempts to falsify history, heroize fascists and their accomplices, blacken the memory and reputation of heroic liberators.

 

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Vladimir Putin is to make an official visit to China

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On May 20, Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to the People’s Republic of China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

In the course of talks in Shanghai, the two leaders will discuss issues of bilateral cooperation. A number of important documents are being prepared for the visit, covering trade, economic, energy and humanitarian areas.

The parties are to consider the current state of cooperation between Russia and China on the international arena and prospects for its development. The visit is to bring these relations to a new stage of overall partnership and strategic cooperation.

On May 21, the President of Russia will take part in the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) dedicated to improving dialogue and coordination for a new, peaceful and stable Asia. The summit will also consider CICA evolution prospects.

During his stay in Shanghai Vladimir Putin will hold a number of bilateral meetings with CICA summit participants.

via President of Russia.

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