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Geo-Strategic Trend - 162. page

President Omar al-Bashir Praises 50-Year Friendship With China and Zhou Yongkang’s Work in Sudan

In Sudan, on the evening of November 17, according to the website of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s International Department, the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir had a meeting in Khartoum  with the CCP’s chief of legal affairs and Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang. 

Zhou restated the friendly relationship between the two countries over the past 50 years, and attended an opening ceremony of a Confucius Institute at the University of Khartoum. Al-Bashir praised China as Sudan’s real friend and partner and praised Zhou as the person behind the Sino-Sudan oil deal. Al-Bashir hoped to strengthen agricultural cooperation with China. 
Source: website of Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s International Department

Xinhua: China and Iran Increasing Investment and Trade Cooperation

On November 20, 2009, Xinhua reported that China is Iran’s largest trading partner.  In 2008, the direct bilateral trade amounted to 27.6 billion U.S. dollars. The trade volume from January to September this year has already reached 15.4 billion U.S. dollars including 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in exports and 10.0 billion U.S. dollars in imports. 

In November 2008, China and Iran signed an “Understanding Memorandum on Sino-Iranian Investment.” From January to September this year, Iran has invested $67.0 million in China; China has invested $159 million in Iran. Iran is China’s third largest crude oil importer. In 2008, china imported 21.3 million tons of crude oil from Iran, accounting for 12% of China’s imported crude oil.

Source: Xinhua, November 20, 2009.

China Showing Limited Dissatisfaction with Lee Kuan Yew’s Comments on China

Lee Kuan Yew, former paramount leader of Singapore, during his recent tour of the U.S., delivered a speech reminding the U.S. to play an important role in Asian affairs in order to balance China’s military and economic power. Chinese state-run media exhibited limited dissatisfaction, stating that the Chinese netizens were furious about Lee’s speech, but then quoting reports from oversees media and interviews with experts with mild criticism of Lee Kuan Yew or even an explanation for Lee from Singapore’s perspective.

1. Global Times, November 4, 2009
2. China News Service, November 4, 2009

Joint Communique of China, India and Russia Released

On October 27, 2009, foreign affairs ministers of China, India and Russia met in Bangalore, India. A Joint Communique was issued afterwards and published in People’s Daily.

The Communique stated that the improved economic conditions of the three countries will facilitate even faster growth. “The strengthened communication of the three countries will benefit improvement of their overall influence, promotion of the democratic process, and development of a multi-polar world.”

The Communique enumerated mechanisms for the three countries to launch talks on global economic management, climate change, trade policy, development, and cooperation.

The Communique asked for a “comprehensive reform” of the United Nations. China and Russia support India’s wish to play a larger role in the UN.

Source: People’s Daily, October 29, 2009

First World Chinese Language Education Conference Held in Chengdu

Jointly hosted by the State Council of the Overseas Chinese Office and the Chinese Foreign Exchange Association, the first World Chinese Language Education Conference took place in the capital city of Sichuan Province. The focal point of the conference was a call for more exchange and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. The Deputy Director of the State Council Overseas Chinese Office, Zhao Yang, delivered a speech suggesting overseas Chinese associations should take the leading position in organizing and managing overseas Chinese language education. The conference, formerly known as the International Chinese Education Seminar, was originally started in 1990.

Source: United Front Work Department of the Party Central Committee, October 20, 2009

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