China recognizes Russian State Duma election: FM
Updated: 2011-12-10 08:06
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
BEIJING - China on Friday recognized the Russian State Duma election, rebutting allegations by the US that the vote was marred by fraud.
"China believes the result of the State Duma election has reflected the will of Russian people," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing, responding to the US' allegation that Sunday's election was slanted to favor the ruling party.
"We respect the choice of the Russian people and support Russia to develop along the road that conforms to its own national situation," Hong said.
About 700 international observers have looked into the election and have generally given recognition to its results, Hong said, citing information from the Chinese side.
Relations between the United States and Russia soured after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed "serious concerns" about Russian parliamentary elections, alleging that the polls were "neither free nor fair".
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday fought back as he accused the US of stirring up protests against his 12-year rule and said foreign countries were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence Russian elections.
Tensions have also risen between US-led NATO and Russia on missile defense as Moscow has long opposed the deployment of NATO missile defense facilities near its borders.
Xinhua reported that a ministerial meeting of the NATO-Russia Council was held on Thursday by NATO's 28 foreign ministers with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
At the meeting, NATO and Russia failed to narrow their differences over the system, but talks will continue in a bid to reach a deal before NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.
Hong on Friday said China hoped NATO and Russia will continue their discussions on a missile defense system to maintain global strategic stability.
"China has noticed that Russia recently expressed strong concerns over the US-led European missile defense system and its willingness to continue dialogues with the US and NATO," Hong said.
M K Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, wrote in an article published in Asia Times online that enough indications were available in recent weeks that Washington felt annoyed at the high probability of Putin's return as Russia's president.
"Indeed, Putin means an assertive Russia - a Russia that will negotiate hard to influence world events, a Russia that will cement its cooperation and coordination with China, a Russia that will forcefully counter the US' crucial Middle East project," he wrote.
(China Daily 12/10/2011 page8)