Cablegate: President Medvedev's Visit to China

DE RUEHMO #1599/01 1571119
R 051119Z JUN 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: Moscow 1430

1. (SBU) Summary. President Medvedev's visit to China on May 23-24
is seen as confirmation of Russia's desire to project a new foreign
policy focus towards other major partners, such as China. At the
same time, Putin's visit to Paris (septel) and Medvedev's upcoming
trip to Berlin ensure that Russia maintains its traditional ties to
the West, especially on economic and trade matters. In China,
Medvedev and Hu Jintao issued a Joint Statement on International
Policy (text at para 13), highlighting both countries' support for
"a multi-polar world order and the non-interference in internal
affairs" of other countries, and their agreement to strengthen
cooperation on a wide-range of foreign policy issues, energy, and
trade. The MFA highlighted energy as the most important issue of
discussion, and noted that both countries shared similar concerns
over global missile defense efforts. Experts saw the visit as more
symbolic than substantive, designed to emphasize Russia's global
reach. End summary.

MFA Highlights Eastward Focus

2. (SBU) At a briefing for the Diplomatic Corps on May 29, Evgeniy
Timokhin, Deputy Director of the First Asia Department, stressed
that Medvedev decided to visit China early, in order to expand the
already strong links established under President Putin, and to
confirm Russia's increasing focus on China as a foreign policy
partner. According to Timokhin, Russia-China relations have
undergone less a transformation than a "normal progression" in
relations. The visit took place in the backdrop of the earthquake,
which contributed to its "emotional" nature. The GOR offered China
12 planes and 12 heavy helicopters' worth of humanitarian aid.

3. (SBU) Timokhin stressed that Russia-China relations rest on
security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The GOR supported
China's position on Taiwan in various international fora including
in the UNSC. Both countries had to deal with international security
issues precipitated by the rise of terrorism and extremism. In
addition, both countries shared similar concerns on the subject of
U.S. placement of a missile defense system in Europe. Timokhin also
mentioned that Russia had extended clear support to China for the
2008 Olympic Games.

Significance of the Joint Statement

4. (SBU) During the visit, the two presidents signed a Joint
Statement on international policy, stressing strategic cooperation
and highlighting the similarity in the foreign policy approach of
both countries (summary at para 12; text at para 13). According to
Timokhin, Russia and China have not experienced serious political
tensions, and benefit from a structure of yearly consultations, but
both countries were interested in producing more tangible results.
The two sides also signed several documents calling for "practical"
cooperation on counterterrorism, nuclear energy, technology,
aviation, and banking.

5. (SBU) Timokhin stressed that one of the central elements in the
Joint Statement lies in its human aspect, which stressed the need to
cooperate in media, education, health and other sectors of society.
During his speech at Peking University, Medvedev stressed expanding
cooperation in cultural, educational, and technical spheres.
Furthermore, the people-to-people project consisting of Russian and
Chinese themed years was judged a success and would hold a prominent
place in Russia-China relations for the future. In 2009, the
emphasis would be placed on the Russian language in China and in
2010 that emphasis would be placed on the Chinese language in

Missile Defense

6. (SBU) Capturing most of the press attention was the Joint
Statement's unease about "expanding military political alliances,
which should not be established at the expense of the security of
others [nations]." The statement charged that the establishment of
a global missile defense system was "not conducive to the
maintenance of strategic balance and stability, to the efforts on
international arms control and non-proliferation, as well as to
mutual trust between nations and to regional stability." Timokhin
said there had been little detailed discussion between Russia and
China on missile defense, and the two countries would bring their
experts together to continue working on the subject. Timokhin
reiterated that MD was a serious concern to China because of Taiwan.

Energy Security

7. (SBU) President Medvedev's visit to Kazakhstan and then to China
broke no new ground on the oil and gas relationship amongst these
three countries. Russia's overtures to China have largely been a
reaction to China's recent activism in Central Asian energy.
Russia has a number of oil and gas projects in Eastern Siberia with
the Chinese market in mind. Gazprom plans to build two pipelines
that will deliver natural gas to China. Plans to build an offshoot
from the East Siberian Pacific Ocean oil pipeline to the Chinese
city of Daistin have been on hold over disagreement on pricing for
the oil. Timokhin said energy issues were at the top of Medvedev's
agenda in China, but much of the energy discussion concerned joint
nuclear energy projects. According to the Moscow Times a business
deal was reached to build and supply a "uranium-enrichment plant in
China worth more than $1 billion."

Russia-China Trade Relations

8. (SBU) Russian statistics place bilateral trade at $41 billion,
with Chinese figures positing $48 billion. In 2007 China was
Russia's third largest trading partner and both countries estimate
that trade will reach $60 billion by 2010. Russia's main trade
concern is that China's growth in exports is significantly higher
than that of Russia's. Russia's greatest concern stems from the
structure of the bilateral trade, with Russia providing raw
materials in exchange for Chinese finished products. Timokhin
stated that 70% of China's needs are met with Russia's raw

Arms Sales and IPR

9. (SBU) Experts focused on the absence of any big ticket military
orders for 2008, with Russian concerns over Chinese IPR violations
topping the arms sales agenda. While Timokhin stated that the
actual problem was "exaggerated and sensationalized" with
consultations in progress, he acknowledged that the issue of
intellectual property rights was a difficult one. In particular, he
mentioned that in 1996 Russia and China signed an agreement
protecting property rights, which was not "solidified."

Medvedev Visits Other Chinese Officials

10. (U) Aside from meeting with President Hu Jintao, Medvedev also
met with China's vice president, the head of China's Parliament, and
gave a speech at Beijing University. Timokhin noted that the
premiers of both countries meet on a yearly basis; the last meeting
of this kind took place in November 2007. The next visit is
expected to take place in Moscow in the fall.

--------------------------------------------- -
Experts See Visit as Symbolic, Not Substantive
--------------------------------------------- -

11. (SBU) Experts saw the visit as containing little of substance,
but important symbolically. Most characterized it as a "propaganda
trip" and to show the West that Russia had other friends it could
turn to. Aleksandr Golts of the Weekly Journal said the trip was to
show that Medvedev was President and had the authority to do foreign
policy (just as Putin's trip to Paris reinforced that he still
retained a foreign policy role), and to emphasize the importance
Russia places on multipolarity. Golts said he did not think the
two leaders touched on "real issues" during the visit, or addressed
the "real problems" between the two countries. He added that the
journalists did not know how to cover the visit - whether to go with
Medvedev or stay home and follow Putin. Pavel Zolotarev of the
U.S.- Canada Institute added that the GOR also wanted to protect its
economic interests with China. The daily Izvestia questioned
Russia's willingness to protect its economic interests given that
Sukhoi Director Mikhail Pogosyan and Industry Minister Viktor
Khristenko avoided criticism of Chinese intellectual property rights

Summary of Joint Statement

12. (U) The text of the Declaration (para 13) outlines the changing
nature of the international community within a more globalized and
interdependent structure. It notes that both countries believe that
they are responsible for peaceful world development as members of
the UNSC.

-- Article One stresses a multi-polar world order and the
"non-interference in internal affairs" of other countries, and makes
a swipe at the continued existence of "unilateralism and power
-- Article 2 stresses support for "the leading role played by the
UN," and calls for reform to confer greater authority and enhance
the UN's effectiveness. Timokhin noted this would increase Russia's
and China's ability to influence world affairs within the
-- Article 3 stresses that the fight against terrorism should be
carried out through multilateral frameworks, on the basis of the UN
Charter, and should not bear a "double standard." In addition both
parties agreed to work together to strengthen the coordinating role
of the UN. Article 3 also calls for cooperation in fighting
terrorism, corruption, and illicit drugs within the framework of the
-- Article 4 establishes both countries' commitment to further
globalization in a balanced fashion, and calls on the international
community to help developing nations, in particular, to close the
economic divide between the North and the South.
-- Article 5 outlines both countries' commitment to international
security; it calls for strengthening cooperation in international
arms control and non-proliferation efforts, using political and
diplomatic means to resolve the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction, and support for the peaceful use of outer space.
Article 5 also expresses the two sides' concern over the
establishment of a global missile defense system.
-- Article 6 stresses both countries' commitment to sustainable
development and stresses their "comprehensive compliance" with the
UN Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
-- Article 7 calls for increasing energy dialogues and coordination
to stabilize and improve the supply and demand market for
international energy, and to safeguard energy security.
-- Article 8 outlines both countries' support for the six- party
talks on North Korea. According to Timokhin, the visit highlighted
that both Russia and China want a practical solution to the problem.
However, both sides realized that this was not an easy task and
would require patience and hard work on behalf of the international
community and the parties involved. In addition, both countries
agreed to seek a diplomatic solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions and
were against the use of military force and sanctions on Iran without
"taking into consideration the interest of other governments,"
including Iran's.
-- Article 9 stresses fostering cultural dialogue.
-- Article 10 calls for the respect of human rights on the basis of
"sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs" and to
stand up against the politicization of the term and the use of
double-standards. -- Article 11 outlines both countries'
willingness to strengthen cooperation between the G8 and and
developing countries, and to strengthen other international
cooperation mechanisms, such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India,
China). Both sides consider the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO) playing an important role in maintaining stability, peace,
security and fostering economic development in Eurasia. Both
countries support the consolidation of the SCO in the future to
deepen dialogue among interested parties "with the goal of solving
common problems."

13. (U) Begin Text of Joint Statement.

Joint Statement of the PRC and the Russian Federation on Major
International Issues:
In view of the responsibilities for world peace and development that
they assume as permanent members of the United Nations Security
Council as well as their unanimous position on major international
issues, in line with the "Joint Statement of the PRC and the Russian
Federation on World Multi-Polarization and Establishment of a New
International Order" of 23 April 1997 and the "Joint Statement of
the PRC and the Russian Federation on an International Order for the
21st Century" of 1 July 2005, the PRC and the Russian Federation
(thereafter the "two sides") stress that the establishment of a
strategic cooperation and partnership between China and Russia and
the conclusion of the "Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly
Cooperation Between the PRC and the Russian Federation " on 16 July
2001 are of important historical significance.

The statement is as follows:

One. As the world is undergoing tremendous changes, the era requires
all countries to pursue peace, seek development and promote
cooperation. The trend of multi-polarization is irreversible,
economic globalization is deepening, science and technology are
progressing rapidly, and global and regional cooperation is booming.
At the same time, unilateralism and power politics continue to exist
in the world. While regional conflicts triggered by ethnic and
religious contradictions frequently arise, the world economy becomes
increasingly unbalanced, and new threats and challenges emerge

Because of these, all countries of the world should work together to
deal effectively with the common threats and challenges and build a
harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. It is
necessary to abide by the objectives and principles of the "UN
Charter," strictly observe the principles of respecting sovereignty
and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual
non-intervention in internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit,
peaceful coexistence as well as the international laws and other
universally recognized norms guiding international relations. All
countries should abandon the "Cold War mentality" and clique
politics, and promote equality, democracy and collaboration.

Two. The two sides support the leading role played by the UN in
international affairs. The role of the UN in safeguarding world
peace, promoting cooperation among all states, and fostering joint
development is irreplaceable. The two sides unanimously agree that
the UN should carry out necessary and rational reform, strengthen
its authority, and raise its efficiency in order to boost its
ability to deal with new threats and new challenges. Reform should
be carried out according to the principle of gradual progress,
consultation and unanimity.

Three. The two sides condemn terrorism in any form. The two sides
poQt out: Terrorism is seeking ideological expansion and has
increasingly closer ties with transnational organized crimes and
drug trafficking. The two sides expressed their concern about this.
The international community should jointly combat terrorism within
the multilateral frameworks on the basis of the "UN Charter" and
internationally recognized principles on international relations.
Double standards should be discarded in the fight against terrorism,
and anti-terrorism should not be used as an excuse to achieve goals
that are contrary to the tasks of safeguarding international
stability and security.

For this reason, the two sides are committed to strengthening the
UN's central coordination role in combating terrorism and facing up
to other new threats and challenges in the international community.
The international community should fulfil the UN's important
anti-terrorism documents, including the "UN Global Counter-Terrorism
Strategy," and promote early consensus on the "Comprehensive
Convention on International Terrorism." The two sides will take
positive measures, mobilize social forces, including
non-governmental organizations and personages in the industrial
circles, to curb terrorism thoughts and eliminate new threats and

The two sides reiterate that they will relentlessly enhance
cooperation in regional organizations and forums, first of all
within the multilateral frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) in a bid to fight against terrorism,
drug trafficking and crimes. The two sides will continue efforts to
build a partner network for international and regional organizations
and their anti-terrorism organs in the Asia-Pacific region.

Four. The two sides are ready to jointly push forward the
development of economic globalization towards a balanced,
universally beneficial and win-win direction. They call on the
international community, especially the developed countries, to
increase development aid and comprehensively honour their
commitments on providing aid for developing countries, so as to
create a favourable international environment for their development.

The two sides support a reciprocal and win-win open strategy, the
promotion of South-North dialogue and South-South cooperation, and
narrowing south-north gap. To this end, it is necessary to improve
the international trade and financial system, oppose trade
protectionism and investment protectionism, and address economic and
trade friction and problems through consultations on equal-footing
and cooperation

Five. The two sides maintain that to safeguard lasting peace, all
countries of the world should take the "UN Charter" as well as the
principles of mutual trust, consideration of each other's interests,
equality, cooperation, openness and predictability as a basis, and
push forward the development of the international security system in
a direction that is more consistent with the demands of the times
and the common interest of all countries.

The two sides maintain that international security is comprehensive
and inalienable. The security of some countries cannot be guaranteed
at the cost of some others', including expanding military and
political allies. The two sides stress the need to fully respect and
take into consideration the interests and concerns of concerned

The two sides are willing to continue to actively push forward the
international arms control process under the premise that no harm
will be done to the security of all countries as well as to strive
to promote the universality and effectiveness of multilateral arms
control and of the non-proliferation treaty. The two sides propose
the use of political and diplomatic means to resolve the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of
delivery within the framework of international laws in order to
promote international security.

The two sides maintain that the establishment of a global missile
defence system, including the deployment of the system in some
regions of the world or the initiation of relevant cooperation, is
not conducive to the maintenance of strategic balance and stability,
to the efforts on international arms control and non-proliferation,
as well as to mutual trust between nations and to regional
stability. The two sides express their concern about this.

The two sides stand for the peaceful utilization of outer space and
oppose the weaponization of outer space and of any space arms race.
The two sides also stress the importance of signing relevant
international laws and regulations to forbid the deployment of
weapons in outer space through negotiations within the framework of
the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.

Six. The two sides maintain that sustainable development is an
important area in international cooperation. All countries should
step up exchange of experiences, protect natural resources and
biodiversity, and strive to build an environmentally friendly and
resource efficient society.

The two sides attach importance to the issue of climate change and
reiterate their comprehensive compliance with the obligations of the
"UN Framework Convention on Climate Change" and its "Kyoto
Protocol." They are ready to abide strictly by the principles of the
Convention, particularly the principle of "common but differentiated
responsibilities" and of each according to its ability, and initiate
dialogue and cooperation in this area. The developed countries
should provide capital and technological support to the developing
countries in order to raise the capabilities of the developing
countries to deal with climate change.

Seven. The two sides call on all countries to step up energy
dialogues and coordination based on the principle of equality and
mutual benefits in order to stabilize and improve the supply and
demand market for international energy as well as to jointly
safeguard global energy security. The two sides support the
establishment and implementation of a new energy security concept
featuring mutually beneficial cooperation, diversified development,
and coordinated guarantees. They also call for acceleration in the
development and research as well as popularization of new energy
technology that are beneficial to the protection of the environment.

Eight. The two sides positively appraise the progress made in the
six-party talks on the Korean peninsula nuclear issue. They also
call on all parties to persist with the direction of a peaceful
resolution of the issue through dialogues and negotiations, continue
to move towards each other, show flexibility and advance the process
of the six-party talks in order to realize a nuclear free Korean
peninsula as soon as possible, realize the normalization of
relations between the relevant countries, and realize the lasting
peace and security of the North Asian region. The two sides are
prepared to continue to play an active role to this end.

The two sides propose the resolution of the Iran nuclear issue, the
reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the issues of the
Middle East, Kosovo, Sudan (Darfur) and other urgent international
issues through dialogues and peaceful consultation. All parties
should consider global and regional security, make diplomatic
efforts, refrain from military and extreme means, cautiously resort
to sanctions and take into account the interests of the country
involved when resolving the aforementioned issues.

Nine. The two sides maintain that the diversity of civilization and
culture constitutes an important driving force for the progress of
mankind. In line with the principles of equality and mutual respect,
all countries should strengthen dialogues between different
civilizations, different cultures, and different religions in order
to realize the harmonious development as well as tolerance and
coexistence of all kinds of civilizations and cultures.

Ten. The two sides reiterate the universal principle of respect of
human rights. At the same time, they also maintain that all
countries have the right to promote and protect human rights in
accordance to the national conditions of their respective countries.
On the question of human rights, all countries should eliminate
frictions through dialogues and cooperation on the basis of
sovereignty, equality and non-interference in the internal affairs
of others, oppose the politicization of the human rights issue and
the practice of double standards, oppose the use of human rights
issue as an excuse to interfere in the internal affairs of other
countries, as well as push forward the handling of human rights
issue by the international community in an objective and
non-selective manner.

Eleven. The two sides are ready to jointly strengthen dialogues
between the leaders of the "Group of Eight" and the developing
countries as well as to strengthen international cooperation
mechanism such as the "Golden BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and
China)" and the foreign ministers' meeting between China, Russian
and India. They are ready to push forward the establishment and
further development of the above and other international cooperation
mechanism on the basis of the unanimity of interests in order to
find a coordinated and unanimous solution to the challenges and
threats confronting global and regional security and sustainable

The two sides welcome the establishment of a coordinating mechanism
between integrated regional organizations, particularly the
strengthening of cooperation in the East Asian region, in order to
expand the political dialogues, economic cooperation, as well as
social and cultural exchanges in this region. China supports a more
active integration of Russia into the integration process in East

The two sides maintain that the SCO has already become an extremely
important factor for consolidating strategic stability, safeguarding
peace and security, as well as developing all kinds of economic and
human cooperation. The two sides reiterate that they will further
consolidate the unity of the SCO. The two sides also maintain that
to resolve the urgent issues of contemporary times and make them
acceptable to all sides, deepening SCO's dialogues with relevant
countries, international organizations and forums on the basis of
the principle of openness and not targeting a third country is of
vital importance.

President of PRC Hu Jintao (signature)
President of the Russian Federation D. A. Medvedev (signature)
23 May 2008 in Beijing.
End Text.


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