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Vladimir Poutine and Hu Jintao

France, Germany, the Russian Federation and China are trying to bring their interests closer to form a Eurasian continental alliance capable of counteracting the Maritime Coalition formed by five Anglo-Saxon states: United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand. This strategy was designed when Vladimir Putin took power in Kremlin in year 2000 and within the framework the national recovery of Russian energy resources.

First, Paris, Berlin and Moscow have reached a common understanding on monetary issues. Russia is again the world leader on oil production by gradually eliminating the oligarchy, recovering the benefits of hydrocarbon exploitation and modernizing its infrastructure. V. Putin’s objective is to make all oil export contracts in euros and not in dollars. Russia has already paid off in advance its debt to international credit institutions (the IMF and the World Bank) and a meaningful part of its monetary reserves is in euros.

On the other hand, France, Germany and the Russian Federation have launched a common offensive at the UN against the invasion on Iraq carried out by the Anglo-Saxon Coalition. Recently, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder offered their support to their counterpart Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Sotchi (The Black Sea) the day after the election in Chechnya.

In this meeting, the German Chancellor considered the results of the ballot as fair while Anglo-Saxon NGOs said the opposite. In subsequent statements, Mr. Schröder pointed out how dangerous an attempt against Russian territorial integrity would be for peace in Europe and Central Asia, that is, against the independence of Chechnya. In light of media’s strong criticism against him, he requested former president Mijail Gorbatchov’s assistance, who recalled in Berlin that the war in Chechnya was not the responsibility of Vladimir Putin, but of Boris Eltsin and his American and Israeli advisers. [1].

The Rapprochement between China and Russia

Moscow and Beijing have shared similar views on regional separatism and economic matters. In year 2001, they created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) with Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, and Uzbekistan in order to coordinate their efforts against the disintegration attempts in a Muslim area. This is why the West has mistakenly seen the SCO as an organization to fight Islamic terrorism. At the same time, Moscow asked for Beijing’s support to become a member of the WTO, while in a reciprocal action Beijing asked Moscow for the indispensable energy supplies needed for its prompt economic growth, though time had to go by.

Things were doing well but suddenly changed. By that time, Li Peng had promised Russia the purchase of the necessary equipment for the construction of a huge dam in the banks of the Yangtze River in China while Mijail Kassianov had promised the construction of an oil pipeline between the countries and the delivery of 30 million tons of oil per year to China. However, none of them kept his word. Beijing bought everything from ABB, a Swedish-Swiss company and in retaliation Moscow forbidden the Chinese to participate in Slavneft. For its part, Washington continued adding fuel to the fire by advising Yukos society to get into conflict with the Kremlin and cease its oil deliveries to China. [2].

It was an ill-nature but limited maneuver since Yukos only supplies 3% of China’s refined oil. However, China’s Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, visited Moscow by the end of September whereas President Putin visited Beijing in October. These visits were very helpful. Politically, the Beslán case increased the awareness regarding the ongoing destabilization in the region [3]. Both countries shared information about Chechnya and Uigur separatism during the Third Meeting of the SCO.

They realized that the leaders of the terrorist organizations were given funds and political asylum in the United Kingdom and the U.S. They also shared information pertinent to weapons supplied by the MI6 and the CIA to separatists. They decided to implement, as part of the SCO, a financial flows control system [4]. Presidents Vladimir V. Putin and Hu Jintao resolved their border disputes by signing an agreement that cleared up the issue of Khabarovsk islands. They also reaffirmed Chechnya as part of the Russian Federation and Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable parts of China. The news that Beijing authorized the reopening of orthodox churches was encouraging. In the economic field they made realistic agreements. China has an increasingly need of energy but it is a fearsome partner. Therefore, Russia wants other clients too.

They benefit from Kovykta deliveries but have taken advantage of their position to pay less. Beijing tried in vain to convince Moscow to build a 2 400 kilometers pipeline [5] between Angarsk (Siberia) and Daqing (northwest of China), that goes through Baikal Lake, Russia’s only natural maritime reservoir. At the end, Vladimir Putin decided to make a 4 000 kilometers pipeline from Taichet, in Nakhonda Port (across from Japan and near Korea).

This is a more expensive project but it is completely financed by Tokyo and Russia diversifies its clients. For Tokyo, it is another advance after last year contract of gas exploitation in Russian island of Sajalin by Japan and Shell Company. Despite this decision that China still hopes to modify, it agreed to assist Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (formerly GATT), whose efforts have been made for 10 years. It will have to deal with U.S. reticence that is very demanding on the piracy of cultural products.

The Franco-Chinese Pact

After the Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting [6], President Jacques Chirac visited China for the opening ceremony of the Year of France. For political reasons and with the objective of avoiding reactions on the other side of the Atlantic, the trip was presented to the French public opinion as the visit of a commercial representative accompanied by a huge delegation of important businessmen. However, this does not mean that its objective was not mainly political.

Beijing knows that its search of energy to feed its economic development is facing a shrinking of the oil market. In a decade, the competition between China and the U.S. for the access to resources will end in a clash. According to some Pentagon official reports, China will be the U.S. main enemy in year 2017 [7].

While Washington has ten years only to control the Middle East and the oil of the Persian Gulf, Beijing has the same ten years to develop a modern army. Therefore, President Hu Jintao has urged the Popular Liberation Army to be ready for war [8] . The point is to determine whether the U.S. will attack from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet or Xinkiang. China keeps in mind that Charles De Gaulle’s France was the first Western state to recognize Popular China in 1967 despite NATO’s prohibition. Since President Jacques Chirac is fond of Chinese culture, it has been easier to renew these ties. Therefore, Chirac’s first political step was to demand the European Union to lift the sanctions of arm sales on China. His statement was not welcomed by some American NGOs like Human Rights in China (HRIC). The embargo was established after the Tiananmen massacre 15 years ago. Even when Chinese authorities do not compensate for the victims, it is not fair to blame Hu Jintao for the crimes committed by Yang Shangkun’s regime, especially after China’s rapid and profound changes.

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Hu Jintao and Jacques Chirac

Mr. Chirac has ratified the installment of Alliss antennas by Thalès Group in ten frontier points to jam Voice of Tibet, BBC, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia radio broadcasting which are financed by Anglo-Saxon secret services. French NGO ‘Reporters without Borders’ has not welcomed this action and has considered this as an attempt against human rights [9] Shortly after, an agreement was signed between Ministers of Defense, Michèle Alliot-Marie and Cao Gangchuan. The objective was to interchange liaison officers and to combine efforts on military medicine and peace keeping operations [10].

Other measures were also implemented to strengthen the Chinese-French ties in the Security Council. By not sending a relevant person to the opening of the annual sessions of the National Assembly in New York, China helped France. The Paris-Moscow-Beijing alliance would join three of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Nevertheless, Mr. Chirac maintained France’s opposition to Taiwan independence and China’s rights on Tibet. In the economic area, China relies on the experience of France’s small-and-medium-size high tech enterprises and its cereal production. France, on its part, expects to open itself to a huge and now solvent market.

Although during his trip, commercial representative Chirac failed to sell the Airbus A 380, he contributed to the sale of 700 000 tons of wheat, 16 trains for the metro -saving Alstom from its bankruptcy-, a nuclear turbo generator, a medium tonnage helicopter project, electrical cars, etc. Despite all these, the considerable delay of the economic interchange between the two countries will not be solved by the agreements signed.

Cultural Resistance

These political and economic agreements have been properly fulfilled in the cultural area. While Mr. Chirac’s trip to China meant the setting up of the Year of France in China - a Year of China in France was also established -, a Year of Russia in China (2006) and vice versa (2007) were also appointed. During Chirac’s stay in China, the Ministers of Culture of about 20 countries met in Shanghai to prepare UNESCO’s Convention on Cultural Diversity which is a project launched by Jacques Chirac to fight U.S. “sub cultural imperialism”.

They partially rejected human freedom and stated that alliances are imposed by physical and geographic conditions. This continental pact is nowadays promoted by globalization -American imperialism- opponents [11].

[1] See our dossier: «Tchétchénie: le grand jeu au cœur de la Russie», text in French, Réseau Voltaire

[2] Yukos quiere hacer presión sobre el Kremlin suspendiendo sus ventas petroleras a la China, Agencia AFP, 20 de septiembre de 2004.

[3] See : «Beslán: la responsabilidad del ataque genocida apunta a los anglosajones», Voltaire, 19 de septiembre de 2004

[4] Vladimir V. Putin wishes to have a similar system in the European Councel

[5] 1,700 kilómeters in Russia and 700 in China.

[6] See: «Asiatiques et Européens face aux Etats-Unis», text in French , Voltaire, 19 de octubre de 2004

[7] See :Giulietto Chiesa : Guerre et Mensonge, Terrorisme d’État américain, Timéli publishing house, 2004

[8] El presidente chino Hu Jintao llama al ejército de su país a prepararse para la guerra, Reuters, 30 de septiembre de 2004

[9] «RSF (ONG Reporteros sin Fronteras) denuncia la utilización a fines represivos del material entregado a la China», AFP, 9 de octubre de 2004

[10] « Refuerzo de la cooperación en materia de defensa franco-china», AFP, 19 de octubre de 2004

[11] The imperialism conducted on behalf of the U.S. is not a national phenomenon, but a global superstructure that affects the U.S. too. From this point of view, globalization means submission to this superstructure. See article: Pourquoi je ne suis pas altermondialiste, André Bellon, Mille et une nuits publishing house, 2004