Putin says to push military ties with China

BEIJING Wed Jun 6, 2012 10:25am EDT

1 of 3. China's President Hu Jintao (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing June 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Ralston/Pool

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he will boost military cooperation with China, including holding more joint exercises, after the United States announced plans to shift most of its warships to the Asia-Pacific by 2020.

Putin referred to recent Sino-Russian joint navy exercises in the Yellow Sea as an example of military cooperation which, he said, would go on.

"We will continue cooperation also between our military," he told Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing, where he is attending a security summit and meeting his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao.

"Recently joint navy exercises were held in the Yellow Sea, and they were the first of such exercises. We have agreed with Chairman Hu that we will continue such cooperation," Putin said.

Chinese and Russian naval forces held six days of exercises in the Yellow Sea off China's east coast in April, with drills including anti-submarine operations and the rescue of hijacked vessels.

China deployed 16 ships and two submarines, while Russia sent four warships from its Pacific fleet, according to Chinese state media.

"We assign an important role to the joint initiative on strengthening security in the Asia-Pacific region and in this context we will maintain the relationship between our militaries," Putin said in an earlier statement.

"We favor the formation of an open and equal-minded security and cooperation architecture in the region, based on the principles of international law," he said.

China and Russia have forged close economic and diplomatic ties following years of hostility and suspicion during a large part of the Cold War, and both have looked askance at U.S. military involvement in what they view as their backyards.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday the United States would reposition its naval fleet so that 60 percent of its battleships would be in the Asia-Pacific by the end of the decade, up from about 50 percent now.

China has long been wary of U.S. intentions, with hawkish voices in the People's Liberation Army saying that the United States was bent on encircling China and crippling its rise.

China's fast-modernizing navy has stirred worries among neighbors, including in Southeast Asia, where several countries are in dispute with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Under the U.S. plans, Panetta announced the Navy would maintain six aircraft carriers assigned to the Pacific. Six of its 11 carriers are now assigned to the Pacific, but that will fall to five when the USS Enterprise is decommissioned soon.

The number will return to six when a new carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, is completed in 2015.

The U.S. Navy had a fleet of 282 ships as of March. That is expected to slip to about 276 over the next two years before beginning to rise toward the goal of a 300-ship fleet, according to a 30-year Navy projection released in March.

(Reporting by Gleb Bryanski; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (6)
psunami wrote:
smart move considering the U.S.’s blatant globalist aganda.

Jun 06, 2012 9:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sivmevan wrote:
Good to see Russia and China teaming up to pose a challenge to the US and allies – who do not have any real opposition now. This will restore the “balance” and make the world a safer place for all of us.

Jun 06, 2012 11:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Actionman990 wrote:
The chess pieces begin to move. Putin and Hu do not have to be weathermen to know which way the wind is blowing. The USA / New World Order are on the march, incrementally. And it is no secret. They want to build a one world government with no sovereignty for nation-states, period. And when they have finished supplying the muscle to take out Russia, China and Belarus for this big big plan-the USA will be financially ruined and weak.

Jun 06, 2012 12:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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