Jill Dougherty of CNN asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an April 20th interview in Moscow, Russia:
"MS. DOUGHERTY: The United States has expressed some concern about Russian arms sales. Just conventional arms. And at this point, you have Russia selling arms to China. And some have speculated that if tensions were to increase with Taiwan and Taiwan declares independence, China perhaps invades, that these weapons could be a complication, a very complicating factor in that. Is the United States concerned about that, specifically Russian sales to China? Is the United States saying anything about it? What should be done?
SECRETARY RICE: We certainly are concerned about any efforts or any policies that lead to increased Chinese military capability in the Asia Pacific region. And Taiwan is obviously an issue here, because the United States has certain responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act to help Taiwan defend itself if it's attacked. We have talked to the Russians about it. We've talked especially about the need to recognize the balance of power issues, the balance of forces issues in the Asia Pacific region. And I might just note that Russia itself, of course, is a Pacific power and should have similar concerns about what could happen to the military balance in the region if Chinese military modernization continues apace."
It is good the issue is being addressed. However, I don't see much leverage the United States has on Russia regarding arms sells to China. Arms sales are a great source of attracting hard currency for Russia. China is a natural client and far more stable than other countries that Russia sells arms to.
Her visit to Russia is to make progress prior to President Bush's visit to Russia to celebrate with President Vladimir Putin the 60th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War.