quarta-feira, 29 de dezembro de 2004

Entretanto VI

1) Russia and China forge new military ties

Analysts say decision to hold war games may be message to the West.

In a move that foreign policy analysts see as Russia's response to a "spat" with the West over the election in Ukraine, the Guardian reported Monday Moscow has reiterated its intention to hold wars games with China in 2005. China Daily reports that although the original announcement was made by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov during a visit to China two weeks ago, the first time Western media extensively covered the story followed his statement during a cabinet meeting Monday at the Kremlin.

"For the first time in history, we have agreed to hold quite a large military exercise together with China on Chinese territory in the second half of the year," Mr. Ivanov said at a cabinet session chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. "The Russian side will not bring big numbers of servicemen, but mostly state-of-the art weapons - navy, air, long-range aviation, submarines - to practice interaction with China in different forms of military maneuvers."

2) Beijing Preparing Major Arms Deal

Russia plans to sell a host of new fighters and transport planes to China in 2005, arms export officials said Friday, and foreign sales of Russian weaponry could exceed $5 billion next year.

3) Sharon to visit China

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Wednesday that he has accepted an invitation to visit China, though the visit could be overshadowed by friction over a snagged Israeli-Chinese weapons deal.
Sharon accepted the invitation during a meeting in Jerusalem with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, the most senior Chinese official to visit Israel in nearly five years. "It is common practice to refuse an invitation the first time, and even the second time," Sharon was quoted as saying in a statement from his office. "I will accept this one on the spot."

The invitation was made though Israel and China find themselves embroiled in a potentially damaging argument over Israeli manufactured drone aircraft, purchased by China and sent to Israel for an upgrade.An Israeli military official said last week that the United States has demanded that Israel confiscate the drones, fearing that they could upset the military balance between China and Taiwan.

The demand puts Israel in the awkward position of having to either defy the United States, its main ally, or China, a market with growth potential for Israeli high-tech and military exports.

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