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China: Partnership with Russia Not Directed at US - 2002-12-03

China says its partnership with Russia is not directed at any third party. The statement comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin wraps up a visit to China to cement ties between the two countries, even as Beijing and Moscow improve their relations with Washington.

Without specifically referring to the United States, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao says that no one should be afraid of closer ties between China and Russia. Mr. Liu says at a news conference in Beijing Tuesday that China and Russia both want to develop multifaceted and cooperative relations with many countries.

The comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin concludes his two-day visit to Beijing. During the visit, Mr. Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin expressed their opposition to the United States on some issues.

On Monday, they appealed to Washington to engage in a dialogue with North Korea, and stick to a 1994 agreement for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid. Washington accuses North Korea of starting a new weapons program, and has cut off fuel supplies.

The Chinese and Russian leaders also implicitly criticized Washington for its threat of military action against Iraq because of its efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. The spokesman Mr. Liu says the Iraqi question can only be resolved through political and diplomatic means. He says the United Nations Security Council resolutions should be fully implemented.

Mr. Putin and Mr. Jiang signed a declaration Monday calling for a multipolar world, interpreted by many analysts as a sign of dissatisfaction with U.S. global dominance.

Still, Beijing and Moscow have developed warmer ties with the United States following the September 11 terrorist attacks last year. They both have expressed strong support for the U.S. led war against terrorism, and both are waging their own battles against Muslim separatists they consider terrorists.