Wednesday, Dec 10, 2008
The Russian and Chinese defense ministers will meet in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss military cooperation, U.S. plans for a Central European missile shield, and North Korea’s nuclear program.
On the issue of the planned U.S. missile shield, a source in the Russian delegation said that, “China shares Russia’s opinion on the threat to global security and stability” that would be caused by the deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Central Europe.
Moscow has fiercely opposed the planned U.S. deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, saying they will pose a threat to its national security. Washington has said the bases are necessary in order to counter possible strikes from “rogue” states such as Iran.
The source also said that Anatoly Serdyukov and Liang Guanglie would also discuss a project by the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan to establish a regional missile defense system. China is against the project, which is seen as largely aimed against North Korea.
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On the North Korea nuclear issue, the source noted that, “Both Russia and China are convinced that the North Korean nuclear problem can and should be solved solely by peaceful means, and that any kind of sanctions against Pyongyang would prove counter-productive at the moment.”
A new round of six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue opened in Beijing on Monday despite the North’s refusal to recognize Japanese participation.
The main goals of the discussions, bringing together the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and the two Koreas, are to agree on the role of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, and on a verification protocol, which could include nuclear waste checks and soil analysis at nuclear facilities.
During his visit to China, Serdyukov will also attend the 13th session of the Russian-Chinese mixed commission on military and technical cooperation and meet with the deputy chairman of China’s Central Military Council, Guo Boxiong.
This article was posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 5:00 am