Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Putin Strengthens Ties With China

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to boost trade and cooperation with China after meeting Chinese leaders as the sides push against Western calls for stronger action in Syria and Iran. Putin and President Hu Jintao agreed recently in Beijing to increase trade to $200 billion by 2020 from $83.5 billion in 2011. The two leaders also discussed North Africa, the Korean Peninsula, and Iran's nuclear program. In total, Putin and Hu oversaw the signing of 12 agreements, including the creation of a $4 billion joint investment fund. The wealth funds of Russia and China will each commit $1 billion, raising additional money from third-party international investors.

Putin has pledged to strengthen Russia’s economic and political ties with China after skipping a Group of Eight summit in the U.S. last month. As veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China have blocked resolutions pushing for stronger sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and oppose expanding Iran sanctions. “The most important thing is that we reached a high level of coordination in order to help mediate and solve international crises and problems,” Putin said at a joint press conference. “Thanks to our efforts we have lifted the level of Russian-Chinese cooperation to unprecedented heights.” Putin also met with Vice President Xi Jinping where he confirmed the two sides would continue military cooperation.

The Chinese Vice Foreign Affairs Minister May said China opposes sanctions that restrict normal trade with Iran. “The situation internationally remains very difficult,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said after meeting with Putin. Strengthening the partnership “has crucial importance for ensuring peace and stability in the world,” Wen said. Putin will also meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while in Beijing, this meeting foreshadows an international round of talks about Iran’s atomic program in Moscow on June 18-19. Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and is seeking relief from the economic sanctions the U.S. and the European Union have imposed. This unholy alliance between Russia and China may create major problems for America going forward, it certainly is a negative for the people of Syria.

          Please read my February 12, 2012, post titled "Syria uprising is past the point of Return!" The situation has continued to deteriorate. It is now reported that Russia has shipped helicopter gunships to Syria to be used to suppress the people.

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