Joint action on cross-border crime wave

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 March, 1994, 12:00am

MOSCOW and Beijing will act jointly to prevent crimes and illegal business activities perpetrated by the increasing number of Chinese and Russians travelling to and staying in the neighbouring countries.

In an interview, the Russian ambassador to China, Igor Rogachev, also denied speculation that Moscow recently had sold new weapons to its erstwhile communist ally.

The ambassador, who worked in China during the Cultural Revolution, said he was optimistic about the development in RussianChinese relations.

He said that in 1993, there had been 2.5 million crossings of Chinese into Russia, and 1.5 million crossings of Russians going the other way.

''Neither side had anticipated the massive flow,'' Mr Rogachev said.

''Both Russian and Chinese authorities have detected problems of law and order. Delegations have been exchanged on the subject, and new ways of containing crimes will be spelt out soon.'' He said among the Chinese who stayed in Russia were workers on legitimate contracts for building houses, hotels or highways, but he hinted that some Chinese travellers had overstayed.

A major problem was ''speculators'', or Chinese private-entrepreneur wheelers and dealers who did not abide by commercial and other business codes in the country.

But Mr Rogachev denied knowledge about a press report that as many as 2,000 Russian scientists, including those with expertise in weapons, had been recruited by China.

He said Moscow was working on ''some measures to monitor the outflow of Russian experts'', not just to China but to other countries.

They now would have to go through set procedures before permission would be given them to work abroad, he indicated.

On military co-operation and the sale of weapons, Mr Rogachev said they were within the framework of the general improvement of bilateral ties and conducted on a ''commercial basis.'' ''Both sides have agreed that there will be no return to the military or political alliance of the 1950s,'' he said.

''In the export of weapons [to China], we fully observe our international obligations as well as the national interest of our country.'' The ambassador said there had been no recent ''breakthrough'' in military co-operation, denying reports of new sales of Su-27 fighters or nuclear submarines. This might be due partly to China's caution in using hard currency, he hinted.

On the subject of economic co-operation, Mr Rogachev said two economic zones for bilateral co-operation would soon be set up: one near the cities of Manzhouli and Zabaikalsk, and the other near the cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe.

Teams of Russian experts would soon be going to China to help modernise the 156 plants that had been built in the 1950s with the help of Soviet experts, he said.

Eighty per cent of bilateral trade now was done between regions or companies.