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Geo-Strategic Trend - 158. page

International Herald Leader: Russia’s Dilemma – Supplying Natural Gas to China

The International Herald Leader reported that Russia is facing a dilemma on supplying natural gas to China. On October 13, 2009. China and Russia signed a framework agreement for the building of two natural gas pipelines from Russia’s gas fields in the Far East to China. However, for the two countires to reach an agreeable price will be a challenge. China suggested $100-120 USD per thousand cubic meters, but Russia’s lowest price is $250-270 USD. Russia is afraid that asking for too high a price may drive China to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Russia is also concerned regarding whether it will depend too heavily on China financially and will become just a “natural resource provider” to China.

Source: International Herald Leader, October 15, 2009

Wen Jiabao: Establish East Asia Foreign-Exchange Reserve Pool By Year’s End

Global Times reported that on October 24, 2009, Premier Wen Jiabao attended the 12th ASEAN Plus Three summit, or "10+3" summit (10 ASEAN member countries plus China, Japan, and South Korea). Wen Jiabao suggested establishing a regional foreign-exchange reserve pool by the end of this year and also speeding up the independent regional economic monitoring organization, and the Asian bond market. China is willing to provide $200 million for the regional credit guarantee and investment funds. Wen also promoted the expansion of regional trade and investment among the 10+3 countries and expressed that China is willing to take the lead in advancing 10+3 economic and trade cooperation.

Source: Global Times, October 24, 2009

Study Times: Sino-Russian Relationship from the Natural Resources Perspective

Study Times published an article that suggests that China’s rise requires it to develop alternate natural resources despite its present favorable Sino-Russian relationship (continued friendly relations with China). Currently, China has access to a vast supply of natural resources from Russia, which may not be the case in the future. Therefore, China needs to develop alternatives to protect its supply of natural resources, including building the blue water naval capability to ship natural resources over the sea, before the Sino-Russian strategic relationship turns sour. At this time, the US has closed down any possible land route over which China could obtain oil from the Middle East, except Iran. China’s land route is limited to the Central Asian countries and Russia.

Source: Study Times, October 19, 2009

National Defense University Professor: Strategic Partnership with Russia Has Reached a New High

On October 13, 2009, China and Russia signed an agreement regarding mutual notification when launching ballistic missiles and carriers. The People’s Daily published a commentary by Wang Baofu, a professor at the Strategic Institute of China’s National Defense University. Wang acknowledged that signing of the pact is a clear indication that the security collaboration between the two countries has reached a new high. The significance of this collaboration has reached beyond military security and trust. The development of the Sino-Russian relationship in all areas is the result of strategic trust between the two countries.

Source: People’s Daily, October 17, 2009

International Herald Leader: China Distrusted for Its Work in Africa

The International Herald Leader, a newspaper under the auspices of Xinhua, published a commentary on October 13, 2009, debunking the Western claim that China practices “neocolonialism in Africa because of its need for natural resources.”

The article stated that the Western media portrays China as a new colonialist, a “destroyer” (using cheap made-in-China goods and workers flown from China to destroy Africa’s traditional economy), and a spreader of hatred to encourage and support ethnic group cleansing. Additionally, it accused Western companies of colluding with local rebel groups because of wanting to profiteer from natural resources and block China from entering the market. It declared that China’s presence in Africa brings economic growth to Africa, which unfortunately takes years for people to realize.

According to a report from the Ministry of Commerce, there are more than 800 Chinese companies and nearly 1 million Chinese workers in Africa. They are mainly employed in infrastructure industries, such as construction and oil extraction.

Source: International Herald Leader, October 13, 2009

International Herald: Stop Lecturing China on Democracy

The International Herald, a publication under the domain of Xinhua, the Chinese Communist regimes’ mouthpiece, published a commentary concerning the democracy issue, at the symposium, "China and the World – Perceptions and Realities," in Frankfurt on September 12. The Chinese delegation left the event because two Chinese dissidents addressed the symposium. They only returned after the organizer apologized.

The International Herald accused Western countries of using “democracy” and “human rights” issues to criticize and slander China. “Digging out the ‘dark side’ of China becomes the preferred approach for some Western politicians to please the public….Democracy sounds good in concept. However, history has proved over and over again that imposing Western democracy on other countries is often frustrating, and could be catastrophic.”

The International Herald quoted words by Mei Zhaorong, former Chinese ambassador to Germany, "We did not come here for a lesson in democracy. Those times are over."

Source: International Herald, September 21, 2009