Since the end of the Cold War, the improved political and economic relationship between Beijing and Moscow has affected a range of international security issues. China and Russia have expanded their bilateral economic and security cooperation. In addition, they have pursued distinct, yet parallel, policies regarding many global and regional issues.
Yet, Chinese and Russian approaches to a range of significant subjects are still largely uncoordinated and at times in conflict. Economic exchanges between China and Russia remain minimal compared to those found between most friendly countries, let alone allies.
Although stronger Chinese-Russian ties could present greater challenges to other countries (e.g., the establishment of a Moscow-Beijing condominium over Central Asia), several factors make it unlikely that the two countries will form such a bloc.
The relationship between the Chinese and Russian governments is perhaps the best it has ever been. The leaders of both countries engage in numerous high-level exchanges, make many mutually supportive statements, and manifest other displays of Russian-Chinese cooperation in what both governments refer to as their developing strategic partnership.
The current benign situation is due less to common values and shared interests than to the fact that Chinese and Russian security concerns are Read more…
To those who think that buying food in the corner deli is becoming a luxury, we have five words: you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. U.S. consumers face “serious” inflation in the months ahead for clothing, food and other products, the head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. operations warned Wednesday talking to USA Today. And if Wal-Mart which is at the very bottom of commoditized consumer retail, and at the very peak of avoiding reexporting of US inflation by way of China is concerned, it may be time to panic, or at least cancel those plane tickets to Zimbabwe, which is soon coming to us.
The world’s largest retailer is working with suppliers to minimize the effect of cost increases and believes its low-cost business model will position it better than its competitors.
Still, inflation is “going to be serious,” Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said during a meeting with USA TODAY’s editorial board. “We’re seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate.”
Along with steep increases in raw material costs, John Long, a retail strategist at Kurt Salmon, says labor costs in China and fuel costs for transportation are weighing heavily on retailers. He predicts prices will start increasing at all retailers in June. Read more…
Mr Tsvangirai on Friday returned from a trip to urge neighbouring leaders to act to prevent Zimbabwe sliding back to the “dark days” of violence seen in the disputed 2008 elections which saw him form a coalition with his rival Mr Mugabe.
On Saturday, he is due to address a Movement for Democratic Change rally in Harare, defying a police order that it be cancelled.
Diplomatic sources in Harare said they feared the rally, which will take place close to a meeting of Mr Mugabe’s Zanu PF supporters, could end in bloodshed if police intervene.
There are also concerns that Zimbabwe’s Joint Operations Command, made up of the heads of the police, armed forces and state security, could use the opportunity to arrest Read more…
Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe is said to have deployed soldiers to control the capital amid growing insecurity by his regime which fears that the anti-government protests in the Middle East may soon catch up with Zimbabwe.
By Innocent Munetsi, Harare
Soldiers both on foot and in armored trucks have been seen patrolling in neighborhoods of the capital Harare. They have set up tents at local police stations and have created roadblocks, stopping and searching cars and everyone they meet.
Chitungwiza, a stronghold of Mugabe’s political rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is one of the perceived hotspots that have been cordoned off by pro-Mugabe soldiers.
This is the testimony of Leonard Chuma, a resident of Chitungwiza, Harare’s satellite town situated 25 kilometres to the south:
“Soldiers weren’t spared”
“The night club entrance was sealed off. In seconds, there were dozens of soldiers inside. The DJ was ordered to stop the music and we were all ordered to lie down Read more…
Speculation that members of the Zimbabwe National Army are in Libya to help prop up cornered dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has gained momentum. This follows Zimbabwe’s Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) avoiding giving a straight answer to a question posed in Parliament.
With the eastern part of Libya having fallen to anti-Gaddafi protesters, it’s being reported that mercenaries from several African countries, including Zimbabwe, are putting up a stand in the west of the country, including the capital Tripoli, on behalf of Gaddafi. They are reportedly gunning down unarmed civilians at random and Arab TV channel Al Jazeera said that Zimbabwe was helping to provide mercenaries, along with Chad and other African countries.
In Parliament on Wednesday MDC-T MP and Chief Whip, Innocent Gonese, asked Mnangagwa to respond to reports that soldiers from Zimbabwe are involved. Instead of giving a Read more…
An intelligence assessment by an International Atomic Energy Agency member nation says Iran has broadened its secretive worldwide effort to secure unrefined uranium for its atomic work, the Associated Press reported today (see GSN, Feb. 23).
The finding fits with estimates that indigenous sources of raw uranium were insufficient for the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear activities, according to AP. The United States and its allies have expressed concern that Iran’s uranium enrichment program could generate nuclear-weapon material, but Tehran has maintained its atomic efforts are geared strictly toward civilian endeavors.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi held an undisclosed meeting in January with high-level managers of mineral extraction in Zimbabwe “to resume negotiations … for the benefit of Iran’s uranium procurement plan,” the document states.
“This follows work carried out by Iranian engineers to map out uranium deposits in Africa and assess the amount of uranium they contain,” according to its two-page summary.
Salehi’s trip is an example of Iranian uranium acquisition activities that could encompass more than Read more…