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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?


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rshowalter - 03:58pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7083 of 7087) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

Russia, China Sign Treaty Amid Concerns About U.S. By PATRICK E. TYLER http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/16/international/16CND-RUSS.html

"MOSCOW, July 16 Russia and China signed a treaty of "friendship and cooperation" today that binds the two Asian giants closer together for trade and development over the next 20 years.

"But the treaty, which China sought and which was concluded in a Kremlin ceremony marked by effusive gestures of camaraderie, also bears the markings of a new strategic pact that not only sets forth the deep concerns shared by Moscow and Beijing about a new world order dominated by the United States and her allies, but obligates the two countries to oppose it together.

"The 25 articles of text join Russia and China formally against American missile defense plans and tethers Russia more firmly to China's claim of sovereignty over the island of Taiwan, whose pro-independence leaders look to the United States to defend them against Beijing's pressures for reunification.

"Both Presidents Vladimir V. Putin and Jiang Zemin went to some length to explain that the treaty, the first such agreement signed since the era of Stalin and Mao, was one between neighbors seeking a new stability for Asian growth and development while carrying no content related to a military alliance.

"In a joint statement, they said that they were hoping for a "just and rational new international order" and that the merger of their interests enshrined today were "not directed against third countries."

"But in a striking similarity to the treaty politics of the cold war, during which Soviet leaders sought to persuade Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald Ford to sign thinly disguised accords against China, the treaty signed here today requires Moscow and Beijing to closely coordinate their response in the event that either one of them is subjected to pressure or aggression from another power.

" "In case of the emergence of the threat of aggression," the treaty states, "the two sides shall immediately make contact with each other and carry out consultations in order to eliminate the emerging threat."

"One Russian commentator here described the treaty as "an act of friendship against America."

"In addition, the treaty elaborates Mr. Putin's and Mr. Jiang's opposition to the principle of humanitarian intervention, established during NATO's campaign in the Balkans to stop Serbian violence against civilians in Kosovo.

"It says, Russia and China "stand for strict observance of the generally recognized principles and norms of international law against any actions aimed at forced pressure or at interference, under any pretext, into domestic affairs of sovereign states."

Comment: Though they may object to military pressure, and may be right to do so, both societies must be responsive to the weight of international opinion, for many reasons -- and both nations seem to be becoming more so.

"For China, Russia's affirmation of Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan, now cemented in the more muscular confines of this treaty, follows the Bush administration's decision earlier this year to sell a new array of weaponry to the island, which has been estranged from the mainland for half a century.

""The government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China," the document states. "Taiwan is an integral part of China."

"Russia is China's largest supplier for high-technology weaponry just as the United States is Taiwan's largest supplier under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, which binds Washington to providing adequate defenses to the island in case of military pressure.

(more)

jimmyz211a - 03:59pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7084 of 7087)

Yeah all that free money that we are giving to Russia to disarm their nuclear weapons ,yet when we bring up our anti-ballistic missile shield, Russia threatens to start a new nuclear weapons race and cold war. Gee, where would Russia get all that money from to make new nuclear weapons? If it's the only way to disarm Russia, I guess we have to try, but they still are a threat to our national security. The can flip flop faster than ex-president Clinton. It was China and North Korea I was woried about, but if Russia puts up a stink over an old antiquated 1972 anti-ballistic misile treaty we should still keep them on our hit list.

James Ziolkowski Buffalo, NY shellback211@aol.com ten year Navy veteran

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