News / Europe

    China-Russia Talks Focus on North Korea

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, March 11, 2016.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, March 11, 2016.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's two-day visit to Moscow this week has largely focused on North Korea's increasing nuclear threats.

    After meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday, Wang said China would not recognize North Korea’s status as a nuclear power. He also said Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons must be stopped, and that China was firmly committed to denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula.

    Vowing that Beijing would not abandon efforts to resume six-party talks, Wang said all provisions of the U.N. resolution sanctioning North Korea must be fully implemented, but with an eye to minimizing any adverse impact on ordinary North Koreans.

    In the meantime, he said, escalation of tensions on the peninsula should be avoided at all costs.

    A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.
    A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense.

    Opposition to missile system

    Both Wang and Lavrov stressed opposition to South Korea's possible deployment of THAAD, the advanced U.S. missile defense system that has been at the center of recent talks between Washington and Seoul. Wang said the system would "undermine security interests of China and Russia, destroy the strategic balance and trigger a regional arms race."

    On Monday, Leon Panetta, a former U.S. defense secretary and CIA director, told VOA that ongoing THAAD talks might have pressed Beijing to support the latest U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

    Lavrov said Russia and China oppose using North Korea’s nuclear activity as justification for an increased military presence in the region, and that he hoped Pyongyang would heed U.N. Security Council appeals to return to the six-party talks.

    Some international relations experts say Beijing and Moscow have been forced to coordinate their positions on Pyongyang because Kim Jong Un refuses to compromise.

    "The problem of the Korean Peninsula is extremely important, and it has caused widespread concern among all parties. It is not only a headache for China but also for Russia," said Dmitry Streltsov, a scholar with the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. "Since they don’t see the possibility of any improvement of the situation in the future, it is very important for China to find out about Russia’s bottom line on the issue. The two sides may also discuss any possibilities of taking joint actions."

    Russian scholar Alexey Maslov, head of the Oriental Studies Department at the Russian Higher School of Economics Research University, said China is already taking a tougher stance on North Korea by restricting its supply of various material goods. Maslov said Russia should follow suit by reducing its own exports to North Korea.

    On same page

    Maslov also said he thought Beijing supports Washington's current position on North Korea.

    "We should also notice Wang Yi visited the United States recently, and even met with Secretary of State John Kerry," he said. "This shows that on some international issues, especially the North Korean nuclear issue, China and the U.S. share the same position."

    Lavrov said after meeting Wang that he expected political interaction between Russia and China "to be no less than last year," and that the quality of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries would improve.

    Members of the military band of the People's Liberation Army of China perform during City Day celebration in central Moscow, Sept. 5, 2015.
    Members of the military band of the People's Liberation Army of China perform during City Day celebration in central Moscow, Sept. 5, 2015.

    Lavrov also announced that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has accepted an invitation to visit Russia at the end of this year, and that this fall's G20 summit in China’s Zhejiang province will provide another opportunity for improved Sino-Russian ties.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin briefly met with Wang on Friday at the Kremlin, where he told Wang that he hoped to have in-depth discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to China this summer.

    Putin also hailed bilateral relations between the two countries and called for more economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

    This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Mandarin service. Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Han Byung-ho
    March 14, 2016 12:19 PM
    You are foolish williweb. All interested parties have tried the carrot on a stick routine. DPRK does something bad, gets offered food/medical supplies/other aid. DPRK apologizes, promises to be good and receives the goods. Time after time after time they gladly take the supplies, feed it to there million man army, the people continue starving and then DPRK does something again. This policy has failed many times. North Koreans will continue suffer the brutality of this monster as long as he is alive. Stop being a naïve child. Millions of lives are at stake.

    by: SON TRAN from: Phu Nhuan District ,Ho Ch
    March 13, 2016 9:09 AM
    I am sure that US and EU have acknowledged that China has been playing NK nuke game for years.
    It's Chinese Scientists,Physicist who have built and run Uranium enrichment plant for NK and it's PLA which supplied nuke warhead fro NK to test fire .
    How can an obedient son like NK dare to to do things against his mother will .It's CCP which born and nutured NK since 1945
    as NK heavily relies on CCP money to survise ever since...
    This is a poorly-planned drama that can cheat children and idiots ONLY.

    by: Anonymous
    March 12, 2016 7:03 PM
    I wouldn't read a lot into Putin's visit. Sino-Russian relations
    were never good throughout their histories. The Chinese will never forget the old Sino-Soviet relationship, which was very contentious and costly to them both with frequent border clashes taking place. Their new relations are more for keeping the UN Security Council more cohesive, China would never accept Russian hardware on their soil, besides, the Chinese regard Russian military hardware as crap compared to their own. China regards Russia as a potential threat, not an ally.

    by: People
    March 12, 2016 6:10 PM
    China and Russia made this frankenstein.
    In Response

    by: ROBERT DEL ROSSO from: Brooklyn
    March 13, 2016 4:01 PM
    Dear Meanbill:
    I don't know what you read, but if you read "You Can Trust The Communists (to do exactly as they say!), by Dr. Fred Schwarz, you will see that, when the North Korean Communists fled North, they executed those who were too weak to make the trip.

    The North Koreans then blamed the atrocities on the United States, since that's what Commies do --THEY LIE!
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 12, 2016 11:03 PM
    READ the real history of Korea after WW2 and prior to the Korean war and you will see what atrocities were committed on the communists that caused them to flee north for safety? .. And you will see what caused the Korean war and why communist North Korea will never trust America? .. If you only listen to the propaganda instead of reading real history, you'll believe all the propaganda the US has the news media spreads, and never learn the truth? .. read it?

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan
    March 12, 2016 2:53 PM
    as it looks Russia may prepare their military cargo (ships and equipment) to send them to China borders for future protection of China and North Korea this may undertake in this year (2016) or 2017.

    this plan will be approve by president of Russia with collaboration of China and North Korea. this 2 days discussions were not only focus of North Korea Nuclear tests. but, China call on Russia to extend their military near China and North Korea borders to protect these two countries on future.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 12, 2016 9:27 AM
    According to Alex Jones Russia is planning a possible military invasion of North Korea and China might join Russia. Rhetoric coming from North Korea about pre-emptive nuclear attacks on its enemies is frightening both of them. At best it will eventually result in a nuclear arms race in the region. At worst it could trigger WWIII.

    willweb, all nations with militaries engage in military exercises, war games, planning strategies for every contingency all the time. Where alliances are involved they practice coordinating their efforts. These exercises are designed to keep military forces at their most effective state and warn potential enemies by demonstrating strength of power and will. However they do not attack anyone and are invariably directed as defensive responses to attack by others. Your suggestion would acceded to intimidation by North Korea. As the world learned from Neville Chamberlain's efforts and the results, this type of weakness doesn't avert war, it invites it.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 13, 2016 1:32 PM
    meanbill, for once you have a semi-valid point. North Korea is armed to the teeth with conventional weapons. If the US and/or South Korea were to find it necessary to engage North Korea militarily, the only rational attack would be a massive nuclear first strike that would entirely neutralize North Korea probably killing all of its people and irradiating the entire region killing people all over Southeast Asia. This would be one of the toughest decisions an American President would ever have to make.

    The only purpose of these military games is a show of power and resolve. No general would be foolish enough to entertain a land invasion or even a strike using air and sea power with conventional weapons. The forces close to the border with South Korea would see tactical nukes to prevent a land invasion and limit radiation in Seoul which is only 35 miles from the border.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 12, 2016 5:27 PM
    A Wise Man asked, why would the US and South Korea have large simulated conventional war exercises against North Korea, when the North Korea have defensive nuclear weapons to defeat their best laid conventional war plans? .. No country on earth (including the US) would launch a preemptive conventional military attack on a country that possesses nuclear weapons? .. It'd be suicidal, wouldn't it be? .. So using logic? .. These simulated military war games to invade North Korea are a total waste of money, manpower and military equipment? .. and only good for real expensive propaganda?
    In Response

    by: Pumpkin
    March 12, 2016 3:26 PM
    Very intelligent comment.

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    March 12, 2016 7:56 AM
    They should cut short the annual US-South Korea military exercises. The US should donate a shipment of corn, wheat and rice to North Korea so as to give them absolutely no excuse to think we are planning an invasion. China will not recognize the North's status as a nuclear power. The THAAD system should not be deployed to South Korea. The S-300 system should not be sold to Iran. There have been enough military confrontations.
    In Response

    by: John Henesy from: Stamford
    March 12, 2016 9:30 PM
    What's to invade? The best thing for the North Korean people is if China, Russia and the US were to go in and take out the current administration in North Korea. The poor people in that country are literally starving to death under the rule of that fat no good sick Kim Jung Un. I am sure that no country would object a regime change in North Korea.

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