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Russia/China: Both Countries Oppose NATO Expansion

Moscow, 23 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - China and Russia today issued a joint statement saying they oppose NATO's expansion but did not name the Western military alliance. The statement says "both sides express concern over attempts at enlarging and strengthening military blocs because such a tendency may pose a threat to the security of certain countries and aggravate regional and global tensions."

The declaration was signed at the Kremlin today by Russia's President Boris Yeltsin and visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

The statement was also indirectly critical of the United States. It said no country should seek hegemony or monopolize international affairs.

Russian officials said, however, the statement should not be seen as targeting any particular nation. They also said China and Russia are not forming an official alliance.

Jiang is on a five-day visit to Russia. He arrived yesterday. The trip is designed to improve political and economic relations between the two countries.

The Itar-Tass news agency says Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin will travel to China at the end of June.