BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 2 December, 2002, 09:31 GMT
China and Russia hope for influence
Vladimir Putin and Jiang Zemin (AFP)
Putin and Jiang want to counter US dominance

The joint declaration signed by Russia and China covers a huge swathe of international affairs, from North Korea to Iraq to the war against terror.


China and Russia are both strongly opposed to American military intervention (in Iraq), but ultimately neither is in a position to stop it

The declaration lays out their common position on how such contentious issues should be handled.

But does it say anything new?

And ultimately is the rest of the world -particularly America - going to take any notice?

History of co-operation

China and Russia are fond of their joint declarations.

First there was President Yeltsin's strategic partnership.

Then came President Putin's treaty of friendship and good neighbourliness.

And now this joint Sino-Russian declaration on a host of international issues from North Korea to Iraq to the war on terror.

By combining their weight, China and Russia are making it clear they mean to be taken seriously as a powerful alternative voice in the world - a voice of equal importance to the United States.

Certainly on North Korea their joint call for the Stalinist state to give up its nuclear weapons programme will be welcomed.

Economically dependent

But how much real influence either Beijing or Moscow has in North Korea is hard to tell.

China is reported to have been completely in the dark about North Korea's alleged resumption of its nuclear weapons programme.

On Iraq, China and Russia are both strongly opposed to American military intervention there, but ultimately neither is in a position to stop it.

The power of either Russia or China to act independently from the United States is constrained by their economic dependence on the world's remaining superpower.

In contrast, economic relations between the two of them are tiny.

Last year total Sino-Russian trade amounted to just $10 billion.

That is a mere fraction of the $100 billion in trade China does each year with the United States.

See also:

17 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
02 Dec 02 | Asia-Pacific
28 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
16 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
14 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
13 Feb 01 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes