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Hu, Medvedev criticize U.S. missile shield plan
Question of the Day
More specific than previous joint criticisms, the statement from Mr. Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao objected to the installation of missile defense components in “some regions,” an apparent reference to former Soviet bloc countries where the U.S. plans to deploy components of the system.
“The creation of global missile defense systems and their deployment in some regions of the world … does not help to maintain strategic balance and stability and hampers international efforts in arms control and nuclear nonproliferation,” Mr. Hu and Mr. Medvedev said.
Mr. Medvedev’s choice of China as the main destination of his first foreign trip reflected the two nations’ increasing closeness in recent years as part of their efforts to counterbalance what they have called Washington’s global dominance.
China and Russia also signed a $1 billion nuclear cooperation deal that strengthens Russia’s role as a supplier to China’s fast-growing nuclear power industry. It calls for Russia to build a $500 million nuclear fuel enrichment plant and supply semi-enriched uranium worth at least $500 million.
“By visiting China on his first trip abroad since taking office, Mr. Medvedev has shown that he attaches a high level of importance to the development of bilateral ties,” Mr. Hu said. “I am sure this visit will give impetus to our strategic partnership and take it to a new level.”
However, economic ties have lagged. Bilateral trade rose by about one-third last year to some $48 billion, but still accounts for only 2 percent of China’s global trade. China does more than eight times as much business with the United States.
By Donald Lambro
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