Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 82

The issuance of a joint communique proclaiming a "strategic partnership" between Beijing and Moscow topped a day in which the two countries signed a bevy of agreements. Following a two-hour meeting in the Great Hall of the People between Russian president Boris Yeltsin and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, the two leaders hailed the document as a watershed event. "Sino-Russian relations have entered a new age," Jiang told reporters. Although the two sides did make clear that their enhanced ties do not constitute an alliance, they joined together to blast the West and the United States for "hegemonism, power politics and repeated imposition of pressures on other countries. Bloc politics has taken up new manifestations," the communique said. According to Yeltsin, the Chinese leader "resolutely joined Russia’s view that NATO’s expansion…is impermissible." Beijing also proclaimed its support for Russian actions in Chechnya, calling them a "domestic affair of Russia" aimed at "safeguarding [Russian] national unity." Russia returned the favor, describing Tibet and Taiwan as inseparable parts of China.

The one discordant note in yesterday’s proceedings occurred when Yeltsin, saying that he "had carried out [his] promise to President Clinton," suggested that he had successfully lobbied Beijing to commit to a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing. But a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters that Beijing still wanted peaceful nuclear explosions exempted from the ban. "It’s clear that China has its own position," he said. (Western, Russian, Chinese agencies, April 25)

Military Cooperation to Increase.