Putin Meets Chinese Regime Leaders in Beijing

By Angela Wang

On June 6, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears during a signing ceremony with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears during a signing ceremony with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing. (Mark Ralston/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on June 5, accompanied by several Russian cabinet ministers and key members of the country’s technology, business, resource and finance sectors.

Following talks with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head Hu Jintao, Putin told reporters at a press conference that several deals had been signed relating to energy, industry, banking, aviation, and innovative manufacturing.

Russia is an important political ally to the People’s Republic of China, and Russia’s leadership has for many years sought profit in China’s growing economy.

Former president Boris Yeltsin made Russia a solid supporter of the Chinese regime on key political issues during former CCP leader Jiang Zemin’s era. In response, Jiang agreed on several behind-the-scenes deals that ceded more than 1 million square kilometers of Chinese land and the exit point of the Tumen River to Russia in 1999.

Following Yeltsin, Putin took similar, and perhaps more determined steps. In 1999, Jiang initiated the persecution of Falun Gong, and the nation’s once most popular qigong practice became central to the Chinese regime’s political and diplomatic policies.

Under Putin, several Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and deported to China where they faced persecution from the Chinese regime. Falun Gong practitioners were banned from holding large-scale activities in Russia, and the principal book of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun, and three other Falun Gong-related books were banned in Russia in 2008. A Russian appeals court upheld the ban in 2011 following a legal battle.

An event in Moscow on May 27 suggests the Russian government may have changed its stance toward Falun Gong.

Falun Gong practitioners were invited to participate in a festival celebrating sports organized by the Police Orchestra of Moscow. The event, attended by over 100,000 people, was held on Red Square in Moscow, just beside the seat of Russia’s government, the Kremlin. At the event, practitioners demonstrated the Falun Dafa exercises and performed traditional Chinese dance and music.

Since the removal in April of former political heavyweight Bo Xilai from his Party positions and the launch of an investigation of domestic security czar Zhou Yongkang, rumors have been spreading on Chinese websites and overseas media suggesting that Jiang’s influence over Chinese politics is coming to an end. If Jiang is ousted, the persecution of Falun Gong will likely be ended, and the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre could be redressed.

Washington D.C.-based China expert Shi Zangshan said the Russian government could have changed its attitude toward Falun Gong to test whether China’s political situation has really changed. He said it is likely Putin sensed the intense internal power struggle in China and saw a golden opportunity to court the rising leadership. At the same time, Putin may use this opportunity to bargain more trade deals with China, Shi said.

Putin is next heading for a two-day regional security summit in Shanghai. Russia, China and former Soviet republics in Central Asia will participate in the summit.

Read the original Chinese article.

chinareports@epochtimes.com

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