Russia, China and The New York Times
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A New York Times article entitled "Russia's Military Chief Downplays Concerns Over War Games with China" (March 18, 2005), seriously underestimates the significance - and dangers - of the upcoming joint Moscow-Beijing maneuvers.
The news report quotes and builds upon the statements of an international relations expert at Beijing's People's University, Shi Yinhong, who at one point in the article declared that the "outward image of growing closeness [between Russia and China] should not be overstated."
"There are people... who want to depict this as part of a new strategic partnership," Shi declared. "But I think, on the contrary, the relationship is much more complicated than this outward image of strategic cooperation," Shi asserted to The New York Times.
The Times accepted Shi's analysis, and built upon it with examples of what the "newspaper of record" sees as difficulties in relations between Moscow and Beijing.
Contrary to the tone of The New York Times article and the statements of Shi, the Moscow-Beijing alliance is not a mere "image," nor can its significance be "overstated."
Boris Yeltsin and Jiang Zemin meeting in Beijing. The Russia-China alliance has continued non-stop since the latter became communist - Internet photo
The "strategic alliance" between Russia and China - not an image - was first declared in April 1996 by then-Russian president Boris Yeltsin. One year later, in April 1997, Yeltsin and his counterpart, Chinese president Jiang Zemin, issued a joint declaration of a "New World Order" meant to displace perceived global U.S. hegemony, according to The Voice of Russia World Service.
The Moscow-Beijing "strategic" relationship has been reaffirmed every year since 1996.
In April 20, 2004, Russian defense minister Sergei Ivanov both confirmed China as Russia's "strategic partner," and stated that Beijing is one of Moscow's most important partners in military technological cooperation, The Voice of Russia reported.
China has consistently responded warmly to Russian offers of cooperation and friendship. During his May 2004 visit to Moscow, Wu Bangguo, known as China's "top legislator," declared in his meeting with Putin that China and Russia "have consistently supported each other on questions of national security and territorial integrity." In his response to Wu, Putin stressed that Russia will continue to "broaden foreign policy coordination" with China, The Voice of Russia stated.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the "new" Russia has been Communist China's largest and most dependable source of sophisticated weapons, training, and technological information. Missiles, submarines, the latest jet fighters have been provided to China from Russia.
There is no "image" of close cooperation, there is no overstatement. The "new" Russia and Communist China are uniting into a political and military axis.
Both Moscow and Beijing actively support communist governments around the world, from North Korea to Cuba and Venezuela, and seek to put an end to U.S. international influence.
The upcoming Russian-Chinese war games represent the development of the military arm of the New World Order first proposed in 1997.
The New York Times must have known of the high degree of Russian-Chinese cooperation, and should have challenged Shi's statements.
The "newspaper of record," however, did not question Shi's assertions. The Times issued a news article with deficient, misleading analysis as part of its news piece. The public deserves better. To do less is irresponsible.
News Analysis [Westerman's newsletter] should be left to those with pertinent, compelling information - and the willingness to use it.
Posted March 23, 2005
Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
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