China and Islamist insurgents fear fuels Russia’s 400 billion pounds rearmament

February 25th, 2011 - 6:03 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 25 (ANI): Fear of China and radical Islam on its southern borders has forced Russia to spend more than 400 billion pounds to upgrade its armed forces.

Despite having warm ties with Beijing in recent years, Russia is aware of China’s own rise as an economic and military power.

Russia, which shares a long border with China in the Far East, is competing with China for influence in Central Asia, The Telegraph reports.

Russians suspect that China secretly has eyes for large tracts of resource-rich Siberia that is sparsely populated and in parts geographically closer to Beijing than Moscow.

Many Chinese migrant workers have already relocated to Siberia, and, in some places, road signs are in Mandarin as well as Russian.

The Kremlin’s other main concern is its own southern flank is an Islamist insurgency fuelled by poverty in the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus area.

A central plank of Russian policy is preserving the country’s territorial integrity at any cost and the Kremlin has made it clear it will do everything to ensure Islamist extremists operating in places like Chechnya and Ingushetia do not undermine that. (ANI)

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