China and Russia Challenge NATO

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Context

China and Russia have agreed to team up in addressing issues relating to the popular revolts in some nations in North Africa and the Middle East. Discussions with China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi last week in Moscow are expected to lay the foundation for the trip by President Hu Jintao next month to Russia. Sustained Chinese-Russian initiatives to “coordinate” their viewpoint on international and regional issues were taken to a new level concerning the ongoing situation in the Middle East. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that the stance of Beijing and Moscow was based on the belief that each nation must “determine its future independently without outside interference.” Concerning reports that the NATO is planning a ground operation in Libya, the foreign minister said Russia would oppose this move if it is brought to the UN Security Council for approval. According to him, the UN resolution which allowed military operation in the African nation “directly and unequivocally ruled out ground operations”.