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China Reform Monitor - No. 966
Ma reaffirms "Three Nos";
China and Russia hold joint large scale naval exercises
Edited by Joshua Eisenman
May 11, 2012
Amid heavy fog and strong winds the Chinese and Russian navies conducted five days of joint live-fire military exercises codenamed “Maritime Cooperation-2012” in the Yellow Sea. The joint exercises, which began on April 21 when a Russian ship formation arrived at Qingdao, Shandong, focused on underwater and airborne threats. During a night drill an “enemy” submarine sent divers to attach a mine to a “friendly” ship’s hull. Depth charges were fired and a team of divers removed the hostile object. Then 11 Chinese warships and the Russian squadron detected a hostile submarine “hiding.” Hostages were also rescued from a ship hijacked by pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and small arms. Lastly, Russian ships fired missiles against surface and airborne targets, with Chinese drones acting as enemy aircraft. Russia’s Channel One TV released two news clips showing extensive footage of the drills and interviews with Russian servicemen.
Upon the conclusion of South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s visit to China, a South Sudan government spokesperson announced that within the next two years Beijing will loan his country $8 billion for infrastructure development including “roads, bridges, hydropower, agriculture and telecommunications projects,” South Africa’s Mail and Globe reports. China, the largest purchaser of South Sudan’s oil, will send its state-run firms to build the projects. Kiir cut short his China visit due to the current conflict between his country and Sudan. After Sudan’s division, the South took control of about 75 percent of formerly united Sudan’s oil fields worth billions of dollars.
On April 27 China’s border security forces captured two armed members of North Korea’s security service who had illegally crossed into Changbai, Jilin four days before. The following day both were repatriated in the custody of North Korean military personnel dispatched to China to help track them down, Daily NKreports. The two men were captured in the mountains some distance from the city proper. As a result, the state of emergency declared in Changbai has been lifted and the checkpoints established to find the men were dismantled.
[Editor’s Note: Over the last six months there have been several instances of North Korean police and army illicitly entering China and engaging in robbery and even murder. Last February four armed North Korean soldiers entered China where they robbed and killed a family of four, The Korea Herald reported.]
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou’s has reaffirmed his policy of “Three Nos” to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait: “no unification, no independence, and no use of force.” During its first term Ma’s administration conducted its relations with the mainland based on the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and the “1992 Consensus” “and they will remain the guidelines for the coming four years,” Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports. Ma’s spokesman said he will promote cross- Strait peace on the principles of “first the urgent, then the gradual; first the easy, then the difficult; first economics, then politics.” He also said the “one country, two areas” remark made by Wu Poh-hsiung, honorary chairman of the ruling Kuomintang, in a meeting with CPC Chairman Hu Jintao last month in Beijing, “is in line with the ROC Constitution.”
For the last ten months Beijing has ordered a “zero publicity and maximum caution” campaign to suppress news that three Chinese citizens and their local translator have been kidnapped in Colombia. Last June, Zhou Hong, Yang Jing, and Tang Guofu, contractors with Emerald Energy, were abducted as they travelled from San Vicente del Caguan to Los Pozos, Caqueta, an area is known for rebel activity. There are no photos of them, no interviews with their relatives, no information on why the men were in Colombia, and no guerrilla group has claimed responsibility. Columbia’s El Espectador, however, reports that “security agencies have information that they are alive and being held by the [FARC’s] Teofilo Forero Column,” a rebel group responsible for numerous prior kidnappings, bombings, and hijackings. There have been several meetings among China’s officials, the men’s relatives and the Columbian authorities.