Russia and China condemn US missile shield plan

RUSSIA and China yesterday denounced US plans for a global missile defence shield and signed a multi-million nuclear contract.

The meeting in Beijing marked the diplomatic debut of Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev since he took over on May 7 from Vladimir Putin.

His choice of destination is seen as highly symbolic at a time of tension between Moscow and the West.

President Hu Jintao joined Medvedev in denouncing US plans to build a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying it “would not contribute to maintaining strategic balance and stability.”

The leaders said the plan “hinders international arms control and non-proliferation efforts.”

The US says the shield, approved by the Czech government on Wednesday, would defend against countries such as Iran and North Korea. But Russia is livid at what it sees as an incursion into its backyard.

Russia and China have already expressed concern over the missile shield being developed between Washington and Tokyo that began after North Korea test fired a ballistic missile over Japan in 1998.

Medvedev told the Chinese side that it was “very important that there are no pauses in our relationship.”

The two countries signed a €633m deal for the expansion of a uranium enrichment facility in China as well as the supply of Russian uranium.


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