China, Russia Agree on Syria and North Korea
As China and Russia seem to be cooperating more with joint military drills and unity in vetoing the United Nations Security Council’s resolution on Syria, China’s Vice Premier, Li Keqiang, has announced that China and Russia coincide ‘100%’ on their stance towards Syria and North Korea’s nuclear program. Reuters reports:
While publicly opposing foreign interference and particularly military intervention in Syria, they have both backed U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan in Security Council votes and urged the government and rebels to adhere to a ceasefire.
China and Russia criticized North Korea’s defiant launch of long-range rocket this month, but both called for restraint.
The two veto-wielding permanent U.N. Security Council members use their clout to blunt U.S. power, advocating what they call a “multipolar” world rather than one dominated by any single country.
At the same time, they compete for influence in former Soviet Central Asia and struggle to hash out differences over energy supplies despite an apparent natural fit between Russia and the world’s fastest growing energy consumer.
Aside from their stance on Syria and North Korea, China and Russia have announced progress on a $4 billion joint investment fund. AFP adds:
“The creation of the Russian-Chinese investment fund by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and China Investment Corporation will become an example of effective cooperation in the economic sphere between Russia and China,” said Kirill Dmitriyev, general director of Russia’s investment fund.
The Russian fund and the Chinese sovereign wealth fund will each contribute $1 billion (755 million euros) to the joint venture, while the rest is expected to come from Chinese investors, Dmitriyev said in a statement, adding the fund would become operational by the end of June.
Machine-building, agriculture, transportation, and timber processing are among the sectors to be targeted for investment, with 70 percent of the resources directed to Russia and 30 percent to China. Plans to establish the fund were first announced late last year.
Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas, and analysts say that Medvedev’s heavily-publicised modernisation drive during his four years in office has had limited success.