Sunday, May 25, 2008

some update on the Sino-Russian military relations.

http://www.kommersant.com/p895011/The_first_visit_of_President_Medvedev_to_China/


Representatives of the President’s Administration and the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) hope that the talks about direct supplies of Russia ’s Sukhoi Su-33 and Su-35 jets will be fostered. An official with the corresponding department confirmed that negotiations with China regarding Su-35 have been conducted for a long time. For all that, only one aircraft contract may be signed during the current visit – that on supplying four Kamov Ka-32 helicopters, which will be followed by two Kamov Ka-226 machines. Besides, according to a source with Rosoboronexport , China will start assembling Mil Mi-171 helicopters using Russian machine sets in 2008. The opening of Kamov and Mil service centers in China is also negotiated. At the same time, representatives of Rosoboronexport’s press-service said to Kommersant, “Director General of the FSUE Rosoboronexport Anatoly Isaykin will go to China , but you shouldn’t expect
signing concrete contracts.”




“They want to produce everything themselves – by either purchasing licenses or duplicating technology.”


May 23, 2008



Strategic Simulation

Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to China is likely to be challenging



Today starts Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to China , which is meant to prove Moscow ’s assertion that the People’s Republic of China is Russia ’s crucial geopolitical ally, and that they can challenge the West together. But Dmitry Medvedev will have to discuss problems in Beijing mainly. These include a drastic decrease in military and technical cooperation, the vague prospects of the energy alliance of Russia and China , and the Chinese government’s reluctance to back Moscow in its struggle against NATO expansion.

Friendship permit



China has been deliberately chosen as the second country of Russian President’s first foreign policy tour (the first destination was Kazakhstan ). Apart from the 4.2 km of mutual border, Moscow and Beijing have preached the same political principles in recent years. The key ones are aversion to the unipolar world headed by the USA , fight against color revolutions, and the beloved provision of Moscow and Beijing that local peculiarities are to be taken into account when developing democracy. During Mr Putin’s presidency Russia and China did much to defend this stance: They jointly supported Uzbekistan ’s President Islom Karimov after the revolution attempt in Andijon, objected to the imposing of tough sanctions against Iran , and defended Sudan and Myanmar in the UN Security Council.



It’s likely that Dmitry Medvedev intends to continue pursuing the same line on China . For example, it has become a kind of tradition to adopt joint declarations during summits of Russia and China . According to the President’s Aid Sergey Prihodko, another declaration is to be signed after the talks between Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China . A high-ranking official with Russia ’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the draft has been almost coordinated, but there are still important details to be thrashed out during the negotiations.



The joint declarations of Moscow and Beijing usually feature issues of current importance. According to the information of Kommersant, this time Moscow is going to include the following problems in the document: the U.S. deployment of anti-missile defense systems, NATO’s approaching the border of Russia , and Kosovo. Officials with the Chinese Foreign Ministry told Kommersant that Moscow and Beijing have practically the same positions on several issues. For example, the Chinese government is concerned with Washington ’s AMD plans: Some of the elements can be deployed closely to Chinese borders – in Japan , or even Taiwan .



Nevertheless Moscow and Beijing have a different approach towards some other matters, for example the expansion of the UN Security Council. Both countries approve of the expansion, but Russia insists on the “limited extension” formula, whereas China promotes a broad expansion of the UNSC admitting LDCs. It’s no surprise – many potential members are loyal to Beijing . For Russia , the admission of a number of new members to the UNSC will only mean the elimination of its influence.



As to NATO’s expansion and the alliance’s plans concerning Georgia and Ukraine , the situation is the same. According to the information of Kommersant, the Russian party is going to include a strong condemnation of military and political alliances’ unjustified expansion in the final document, which will show NATO that a mighty partner supports Russia . But Beijing is not going to engage in a conflict with the alliance – it has sought to lift the embargo on military supplies from the EU to China , which was put 1989, so, Beijing needs to have friendly relations with NATO. This said, China is likely to suggest a milder wording.





A Farewell to Arms



Problems between Moscow and Beijing go beyond sheer diplomacy. Sergey Prihodko said that the Russian delegation is going to thrash out aircraft and naval technical equipment issues. Also, the intellectual property matter will be addressed. According to Mr Prihodko, the latter “is especially acute, because the agreement on legal regulation of this sphere has been violated.”



There are a lot of problems in military and technical cooperation between Russia and China . Konstantin Makienko, Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Expert, points out that the major problem lies in the drastic reduction in Chinese military orders. Besides, the Russia-China Committee for Military and Technical Cooperation hasn’t convened since 2006. China refers to the failed contract over its purchasing of 38 Ilyushin Il-76MD and Il 78MK strategic airlifters, as well as defects in the supplied naval equipment. “Actually if we had fixed everything, they would have made up another pretext,” an official with the corresponding government department told Kommersant. “They want to produce everything themselves – by either purchasing licenses or duplicating technology.” Because of this position talks on several aircraft supplies contracts have been stalled.



“As to military aircraft, we supply the Chinese party with spares only. Beijing has suspended purchasing finished machines from Russia ,” Alexey Fedorov, President of Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, explained to Kommersant (Mr Fedorov accompanies Dmitry Medvedev during the current visit). “Political decisions may be taken in the course of the forthcoming negotiations. They will allow for concluding contracts on supplies of finished planes.”



Representatives of the President’s Administration and the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) hope that the talks about direct supplies of Russia ’s Sukhoi Su-33 and Su-35 jets will be fostered. An official with the corresponding department confirmed that negotiations with China regarding Su-35 have been conducted for a long time. For all that, only one aircraft contract may be signed during the current visit – that on supplying four Kamov Ka-32 helicopters, which will be followed by two Kamov Ka-226 machines. Besides, according to a source with Rosoboronexport , China will start assembling Mil Mi-171 helicopters using Russian machine sets in 2008. The opening of Kamov and Mil service centers in China is also negotiated. At the same time, representatives of Rosoboronexport’s press-service said to Kommersant, “Director General of the FSUE Rosoboronexport Anatoly Isaykin will go to China , but you shouldn’t expect
signing concrete contracts.”



According to the information of Kommersant, Dmitry Medvedev is planning to persuade Hu Jintao to hold another session of the Committee for Military and Technical Cooperation this fall. In his turn, Hu Jintao is expected to bring up the issue of purchasing surface-to-air missile systems whose characteristics exceed those of the S-300PMU-2 Favorit – the S-400 Triumf. Russian diplomats don’t rule it out that Dmitry Medvedev will approve of it, basing on the FSMTC estimation. The President will suggest that experts hold corresponding consultations, but only after the Committee for Military and Technical Cooperation finally convenes.





Energy contradictions



With this said, energy issues remain the most challenging ones. In the course of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing in March 2006 Russia and China agreed to set up an unprecedented energy alliance: Russian and Chinese state corporations drafted big contracts on Russian energy carriers supplies to China . Then the construction of the Eastern Siberia–Pacific ocean pipeline followed, which will soon have a branching to China from Skovorodino. But in recent years the realization of many of these projects has bogged down in disputes between Russia ’s Rosneft and China ’s CNPC over the price.



“Rosneft calculated that it loses $40 on each ton supplied to China , rather than the West,” Mikhail Krutikhin, RusEnergy analyst says. “Sergey Bogdanchikov (Rosneft CEO – Kommersant) has already appealed to the government urging that it decide whether the price is negotiated or the contract is broken, with the Russian party paying a forfeit.” In this case talks about signing a contract on supplying 50 mln tons of oil from 2010 to 2015, which are held by Rosneft and the CNPC, will be jeopardized. The arguments of the Chinese counterparts boil down to the fact that the CNPC helped Rosneft buy the assets of YUKOS, so, the Russian company now owes the Chinese one.



As a result, constructing the Chinese branching of the Eastern Siberia–Pacific ocean pipeline has been jeopardized as well. Mikhail Barkov, Transneft Vice-President, doesn’t rule it out that Dmitry Medvedev and Hu Jintao will discuss the matter personally, but he adds that no representative of the company has gone to Beijing with the President. “We have accomplished project works on the Skovorodino–China’s border section,” Mikhail Barkov told Kommersant. “But it is the government that will decide on the future of the branching.” Mikhail Krutikhin presumes that the Russian government will have to take a decision in no time. “If the pipeline goes further to the Pacific ocean coast, the project will have to be altered urgently: the carrying capacity will need to be boosted, and terminal and oil ports projects will have to be changed,” Mr Krutikhin argues. It’s quite probable that Dmitry Medvedev will have to address these contradictive
issues, with Rosneft CEO Sergey Bogdanchikov accompanying him.



There is barely any hope to negotiate gas contracts. According to Gazprom representative Sergey Kupriyanov none of those on the board of the gas giant has set off for China with the President.



To conclude with, the current visit to China will be a real trial for Dmitry Medvedev. His reputation in the eyes of his Chinese partners will much depend on his ability to succeed in addressing the challenges. By the way, Moscow has already secured itself against a failure. According to the information of Kommersant, Vladimir Putin is going to pay a visit to China this fall. And if Dmitry Medvedev’s visit doesn’t turn out that fruitful, Russia ’s Prime Minister will have to address the issues on the Chinese front.



Alexander Gabuev, Alexandra Gritskova, Konstantin Lantratov

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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