World

June 7, 2012

News Briefs June 7, 2012

Putin emphasizes military ties with Chinese VP

Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized burgeoning military ties with China June 6 on the second day of a visit to his nation’s eastern neighbor.

Putin told Vice President Xi Jinping that he and Chinese President Hu Jintao have vowed to expand military exchanges and he also recalled recent Russian-Chinese naval exercises in the Yellow Sea.

Military exchanges between Moscow and Beijing have accelerated under a regional security grouping that has hosted regular border protection and anti-terrorism drills.

China is a major customer for Russian fighters, submarines, missiles frigates, and other high-tech arms, but mistrust lingers from their Cold War rivalry. Ties have warmed steadily, however, over Putin’s decade-long dominance of Russian political life.

Putin’s visit is his first to China since returning to Russia’s presidency last month and comes ahead of his first visit to the U.S. in a move seen as signaling an eastward pivot in Russian foreign policy.

In Beijing, Putin reaffirmed targets of raising bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 from $83.5 billion last year, and to $200 million by 2020.

Warming ties between China and Russia have counterbalanced U.S. influence and shielded Syria from international moves to halt its crackdown on a 15-month uprising. AP

 

Retired Russian colonel convicted of spying for U.S.

A Moscow court has convicted a retired colonel from Russia’s counterintelligence agency of spying on behalf of the United States and sentenced him to 18 years in prison.

District Military Court spokeswoman Irina Zhirnova said it convicted Valery Mikhailov June 6 of passing state secrets to representatives of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. She said Mikhailov would be stripped of his rank and sent to a high-security prison.

Mikhailov’s conviction is the latest in a series of espionage cases that come amid tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Last week, a retired Russian military officer was also found guilty of spying for the U.S. and handed a 12-year prison sentence. And earlier last month, a defense company worker received an eight-year sentence on charges of betraying missile secrets. AP

 

Anchorage to host June rocket, space summit

The Alaska State Senate will host a one-day gathering this month aimed at exploring additional opportunities for the aerospace industry in Alaska.

The Alaska Rocket and Space Summit will be June 21 in Anchorage.

Senate President Gary Stevens says Senate representatives have been working closely with the Alaska Aerospace Corp. to invite experts and key industry players to inform legislators of what’s happening in the industry.

The Kodiak Republican says the aerospace industry brings millions of private dollars to Alaska’s economy.

Stevens says Lockheed Martin in March chose the Kodiak Launch Center as its dedicated West Coast launch facility for Athena rockets and the company and the aerospace corporation will be seeking $100 million in commercial financing to finish construction of a medium lift facility. AP




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Japan annual defense paper shows heightened worry over China

Japan emphasized China as a threat in escalating regional tensions in this year’s annual defense report as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government tries to convince the public of the need to pass legislation to give Japan’s military a greater role. The report, approved July 21 by the Cabinet, was delayed for more than a week...
 
 

Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 

 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 
 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 




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