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Archive for the ‘Russia & China’ Category

China can do without US dollar?

Posted by Kris Roman on July 3, 2009

china_yuan-2China ’s announcement overnight that it will allow companies to settle international trade claims in yuan shows how serious the Chinese authorities are about building a local currency market.

China will allow companies to use the yuan to settle cross-border trade and let them keep their entitlement to export tax rebates, seeking to reduce the reliance of importers and exporters on the U.S. dollar.

The People’s Bank of China will encourage banks to offer yuan settlement services from today, the bank said in the regulations published on its Web site. Transactions inside China will take place in Shanghai and four cities in southern Guangdong province, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen, while those outside China will occur in Hong Kong, Macau and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it said.

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Russia starts construction of oil pipeline to China

Posted by Kris Roman on April 28, 2009

Russia started construction of a crude oil pipeline to China, following an agreement between the two countries to exchange loans for oil early this month, a Chinese newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Russia staged a ceremony on Monday in Skovorodino, where the pipeline started in Russia, according to the China Petroleum Daily, which is run by top Chinese oil firm CNPC.

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Russian guards fired on stricken ship: prosecutors

Posted by Kris Roman on February 19, 2009

cargo-export-containers-bgRussian border guards repeatedly fired on a cargo ship that hit trouble off its Far Eastern coast at the weekend with the loss off several crew members, prosecutors were quoted as saying Thursday.

Officials said the ship, the Sierra Leone-flagged New Star with 10 Chinese crew and six Indonesians on board, was in Russian waters illegally and repeatedly ignored warnings to stop.

“The investigation into the shooting on the foreign ship is being led by military prosecutors,” Alexander Selentsov, an official from prosecutors in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok, told the Interfax news agency.

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China and Russia’s Geographic Divide

Posted by Kris Roman on August 10, 2008

By Peter Zeihan

Since the Soviet fall, Russian generals, intelligence chiefs and foreign policy personnel have often waxed philosophic about the inevitability of a global alliance to hem in U.S. power — often using the rhetoric of a “multipolar world.” Central in all of these plans has been not only the implied leadership of Russia, but the implied presence of China. At first glance, the two seem natural partners. China has a booming manufacturing economy, while Russia boasts growing exports of raw materials. But a closer look at the geography of the two paints a very different picture, while the history of the two tells an extraordinarily different story. If anything, it is no small miracle that the two have never found themselves facing each other in a brutal war.

A Hostile Geography
Russia east of the Urals and the Chinese interior are empty, forbidding places. Nearly all of Russia’s population is hard up on its western border, while China’s is in snug against its eastern and southern coasts. There is an ocean’s worth of nothing between them. But while ships can ply the actual ocean cheaply, potentially boosting economic activity, trade between Russia and China does not come easy. Moscow and Beijing are farther apart than Washington and London, and the cost of building meaningful infrastructure between the two would run in the hundreds of billions. With the exception of some resource development and sales in the border region, integration between the two simply does not make economic sense.

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China, Russia finally fix long-disputed border

Posted by Kris Roman on July 22, 2008

China and Russia signed an agreement Monday that ended a decades-long territorial dispute and finally determined their borders, in the latest sign of warming ties between the former Cold War foes.
The protocol, signed by the two countries’ foreign ministers in Beijing, added to an existing agreement on their 4,300-kilometre (2,700-mile) boundary, meaning all of the frontier is now set.

“China and Russia have discussed their border for over 40 years. It’s no simple matter that we have now demarcated the border in its entirety,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, after the agreement was signed.

“At a political level, it’s a mutually beneficial, win-win result,” he told reporters at a briefing at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in the Chinese capital.

A bitter rift during the Cold War saw the one-time communist allies fight skirmishes along their border.

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China Goes Berserk In Russian Arms Bazaar Up

Posted by Kris Roman on April 30, 2008

An indigenised J-11B in flight test. The J-11B was developed from the J-11/Su-27SK and fitted with Chinese-made avionics

The lack of significant new arms orders for Russia from China could be caused by its efforts to further develop its own arms industry, dissatisfaction with delays on outstanding orders, or disappointment with the quality of Russian weapons delivered in recent years.


Despite this, China is still rumored to be interested in the Russian offer of Su-33 and Su-35 combat aircraft for use on Chinese aircraft carriers. However, there are also reportedly divisions within Russia over whether to meet Chinese requests for advanced Russian weapons systems. There are concerns that China will only buy limited numbers of such systems with a view to “copying” them.

Russia’s caution is not unfounded. In 1996, China signaled its intention to buy around 200 Sukhoi Su-27SK kits for its J-11 combat aircraft program. In 2004, China revealed that only about 100 J-11 combat aircraft would be constructed from Su-27SK kits, as an increasing share of the components for its J-11 were being produced in China.

Then, in 2007, the first prototypes of the J-11B were unveiled, revealing a combat aircraft that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Su-27SMK, but for which a reported 90 per cent of components are Chinese. Some reports say that the J-11B will feature Chinese-produced weapons systems and a WS-10A engine.

Although the Chinese appear to have annulled the contract for the joint development of the J-11, Russian officials have not yet condemned this move. Yet China’s behavior perhaps helps to explain Russia’s October 2007 agreement with India for the joint development and production of a fifth generation combat aircraft.

Russia had also discussed the possibility of such a project with China, but October’s announcement reinforces the impression that Russia is more willing to transfer its most advanced weapons systems (and possibly even technologies), to India rather than to China.

All these factors, combined with this year’s decline in deliveries and orders, suggest that the slump in Russia’s arms exports to China will not be temporary. Indeed, in Russia such a drop has been anticipated for some time, and Rosoboronexport and Russian officials have worked hard in recent years to secure alternative orders.

The head of the Russian government’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Mikhail Dmitriev, announced in late December 2007 that Russia had an order portfolio for an estimated $32 billion worth of arms and military equipment, boosted by significant orders in recent years from Algeria, Indonesia and Venezuela. It remains to be seen, however, whether orders from these states can make up for the expected drop in orders and deliveries to China.

(Paul Holtom is a researcher for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This article is reprinted by permission of the RIA Novosti news agency. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of the RIA Novosti news agency.)


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