Following talks yesterday in Beijing with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Russian State Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev said that the Chinese leader has no intention of canceling or postponing his upcoming trip to Moscow. Jiang is scheduled to visit Moscow from November 22-25 for an informal summit meeting with ailing Russian President Boris Yeltsin. According to Russian Foreign Ministry sources, no documents are expected to be signed during the visit. Rather, in keeping with the informal nature of the occasion, Yeltsin and Jiang are expected to discuss the major problems facing their countries and to devise a general strategy for moving bilateral relations forward. The upcoming summit had originally been scheduled for early September. It was postponed at the request of Chinese authorities, who were occupied with a series of floods which devastated the Chinese countryside.
Seleznev, who heads the Communist Party faction in the Russian Duma, used the meeting yesterday with Jiang to sing the praises of China’s “socialist market economy.” In an obvious dig at Yeltsin, he also used the occasion to applaud Jiang himself for what Seleznev suggested were the Chinese leader’s youth and vigorous leadership. Despite both Seleznev’s praise for Beijing’s successes and new proclamations by Chinese leaders of their fidelity to the Russian-Chinese “strategic partnership,” Seleznev admitted yesterday that Beijing had committed itself to no new forms for concrete, financial aid for Moscow. Instead, Seleznev said the two sides focused on implementing several previously agreed upon joint economic projects, including the transport to China of gas from western Siberia and electrical energy from the Irkutsk region (Russian agencies, Xinhua, October 27). Seleznev was scheduled to depart Beijing earlier today for Shanghai, where he and a delegation of Russian parliamentarians will continue their China visit.
RESHUFFLE IMMINENT ATOP RUSSIAN ARMS EXPORT ESTABLISHMENT?