Posts Tagged ‘security’

New Zealand Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said in a Thursday speech to the Institute of International Affairs in Wellington that his country’s security ties with China and the US are not “mutually exclusive.”
According to the minister, despite the current dynamic between Beijing and Washington, New Zealand is not ready to sacrifice its security relationship with the major Asian state.
Brownlee emphasized that China’s contribution is crucial when it comes to maintaining safety in the Asia-Pacific region.
He noted that the armies of China and New Zealand have enhanced cooperation in recent years, recalling last month’s participation of People’s Liberation Army engineers in the New Zealand-led humanitarian and disaster relief exercise, Tropic Twilight in Tonga.
Earlier this month, Chinese officers also took part in a humanitarian and disaster relief exercise titled Cooperation Spirit, held in Wellington, along with representatives from other countries.
The minister had high praise for China’s significant peacekeeping contributions, including the force protection it has provided to New Zealand troops as part of the UN peacekeeping efforts in South Sudan.
“Despite relative differences in our strategic outlook and in the sizes of our two defense forces, New Zealand and China are developing a constructive and resilient relationship,” he said.
The minister admitted the challenges brought by recently-escalating tensions caused by China’s reclamation of land in the South China Sea, but observed that he is optimistic about the continuing military cooperation by both China and the US.
“This issue will continue to test the international legal system. Continued China-United States engagement and cooperation is indispensable to security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond,” he said.
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Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov discussed aviation security measures with his Egyptian counterpart, Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi, the Russian ministry said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov discussed step-by-step aviation security measures at regular consultations with his Egyptian counterpart, Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathi, the Russian ministry said Friday.

“Sokolov held another round of technical consultations with his counterpart… The meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere, the parties again discussed a step-by-step action plan for measures in the field of civil aviation,” the ministry said.

Sokolov said this week safety experts planned a visit to Egypt to inspect airport security in September.

Fathi announced during a visit to Moscow earlier in July that an investigation into Russia’s A321 passenger plane crash over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015 was entering final stages.

The plane, operated by the Russian air carrier Kogalymavia and carrying 224 people, was heading to St. Petersburg from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh. Russia’s Investigative Committee has officially classified the plane crash as a terrorist attack.

A restoration of ties between Ankara and Moscow will add significantly to regional security and will help Turkey increase its regional clout, Unal Cevikoz, former Turkish Ambassador to Iraq and the UK, told Sputnik.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

In an interview with Sputnik, former Turkish Ambassador to Iraq and the UK Unal Cevikoz said that the Russian-Turkish thaw in ties is of paramount importance to Ankara, which will now be able to boost its regional clout.Cevikoz, who currently works as head of the Ankara-based Center for Political Studies, added that the restoration of bilateral relations will also contribute considerably to regional security.

The interview came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter of apology to Russian leader Vladimir Putin last month over Ankara downing a Russian warplane in 2015; his move that was followed by the normalization of ties between Moscow and Ankara.

Moscow cancelled the travel ban and a number of restrictions for Turkish businessmen. The two countries also agreed to work together on a number of issues, including Syria.

During the interview, Cevikoz referred to “a wide array of painful issues” related to Turkey’s policy on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

“In this vein, the diplomatic steps toward normalizing ties with Israel and Russia are of great importance. If Ankara continues to bolster these ties, it will help eliminate a number of factors that damage Turkey’s regional position and the situation in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean on the whole,” he said.

Cevikoz specifically stressed the significance of Turkey resuscitating ties with Russia, whose international clout he said should be reckoned with.
He touted Russia as “Turkey’s current neighbor, not only in the Black Sea but also in the south, in view of its strong position in Syria, where Russia took part in the anti-terrorist operation and support of President Bashar Assad.”

“Given all this, it is necessary to emphasize the positive aspect of Turkey’s normalization of relations with Russia in terms of ensuring stability in the region. I hope that a similar process will also be launched in Turkey’s ties with Egypt and Syria,” he said.

He also urged Turkey to change its “biased foreign policy” on the Middle East, which Ankara has pursued in recent years. According to him, Turkey is still seen as a country which is building its policy on an ideological basis.

“In order to eradicate this view, Turkey needs to prove once again its impartiality and ability to maintain relations with all international players so as to resolve conflicts,” Cevikoz said.

On June 27, the Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a letter addressed to Vladimir Putin, apologized for the downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft by a Turkish jet in November 2015 and extended his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

The letter of apology was followed by a phone conversation between Erdogan and Putin, during which they agreed to hold a personal meeting later this year.

By doing so, Ankara fulfilled one of the conditions put forward by Moscow following the incident that paralyzed the long-term partnership between the two countries.

A wide array of lucrative bilateral cooperation agreements have been signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during Putin’s visit to China this past week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have inked more than 30 substantive agreements on bilateral cooperation. They cover many fields, including energy and trade.The documents were signed during Putin’s visit to China, which took place between June 24 and June 25.

In honor of Putin’s arrival in Beijing, a Chinese choir performed Kalinka Malinka, probably the most well-known Russian folk song.

Bilateral economic cooperation topped the agenda of Putin’s talks with the Chinese President.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping

“We are changing our trade turnover structure, [steering it] in the right direction. This year, our exports of cars and equipment to China almost doubled, and we are very much grateful to our Chinese friends,” Putin told reporters after the talks.

Development of a new long-haul aircraft

On Saturday, Russia and China signed deals that will allow them to cooperate on the construction of a wide-fuselage long-range plane and a civil heavy-lift helicopter.

A memorandum on building a 250-300-seat plane to rival Airbus and Boeing was inked during President Putin’s trip to Beijing back in 2014. A similar agreement between Russian Helicopters and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China was signed in May 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China. Day Two
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China. Day Two

As for the new helicopter, it is expected to make its maiden flight in 2020, and by 2024 it is supposed to be fully certified. The helicopter is likely to be manufactured at an aircraft factory in Tianjin; demand for it is currently estimated at about 200 units.

Russian Railways and China Railway

The Russian company Russian Railways (RZD) and the company China Railway signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement and a framework deal on the localization of the production of rolling stock and railway equipment in Russia.

Although the sides did not sign an agreement on financing the high-speed Moscow-Kazan railway, President Putin pledged that  Moscow and Beijing will agree on its construction before the end of this year.

“We will coordinate issues related to the construction of the high-speed Moscow-Kazan railway by year-end, and a step forward in this direction was made already today,” Putin said on Saturday.

Energy

During Putin’s visit to China, the Russian gas giant Gazprom and its Chinese partner CNPC clinched a preliminary agreement on the construction of underground gas storage facilities on Chinese territory.

Separately, the Russian oil company Rosneft and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation signed an agreement on the construction and delivery of a floating transfer dock facility for the Zvezda shipbuilding complex.Additionally, Rosneft and China’s Shandong Kerui Petroleum Equipment company inked a memorandum of understanding and strategic partnership concerning oil-related services, according to Rosneft’s chief executive Igor Sechin.

Bilateral cooperation on foreign policy and security

China and Russia cooperate closely in terms of foreign policy and security, and have demonstrated a common approach to a wide range of global and regional issues, including counter-terrorism efforts, President Putin said during a reception to mark the 15th anniversary of the  signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation.

“It is this document that legally defined the strategic and partner character of relations between Russia and China, which are based on mutual respect, friendship and the recognition of each other’s interests; these relations not only meet the interests of our peoples, but also serve as an important factor regarding global and regional stability and security,” Putin said.

He added that by “building up the Russian-Chinese partnership, we relied on the centuries-old traditions of relations between our countries.”

“We achieved an unprecedented level of mutual trust and understanding, which allowed us to solve complex and very sensitive issues and which, most importantly, opened opportunities to move forward and bolster multilateral relations in various spheres,” Putin pointed out.

Invitation to visit a G-20 summit

Also on Saturday, the Chinese President invited Vladimir Putin to visit a summit of the Group of Twenty that is due to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September 2016.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin meets with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping

“We will meet on the sidelines of major international events before the end of the year,” Xi Jinping said after talks with President Putin.”I have already invited President Putin to pay a visit to Hangzhou in early September to take part in the G-20 summit,” he added.

Putin, for his part, said that Russia will provide all necessary support to China during its G-20 presidency.

The G-20 is an international forum for the leaders and senior financial officials of the world’s 20 major economies. The 10th G-20 summit was held in Turkey in November 2015.