Pavel Grachev's visit to China and South Korea is finished but some points are still not clear. Military politics experts and journalists keep asking a question: What were the problems he discussed over there? Some of them think it was just a courtesy visit although most experts talk about "the Russian breakthrough" in Asia under the threat of Nato's expansion.
One thing is clear: the subject of negotiations in both South Korea And China was military-technical collaboration. Apparently Chinese part of the visit was dedicated to establishing a system of collective security in the Pacific Rim. Though, careful Chines politicians notified they were not going to create or enter any military blocks or alliances, just exclusively bilateral relations with Russia. At that time an influential Honk-Kong newspaper South China Morning Post published an article where it is stated that Grachev had proposed to split Asia, with Russia and China taking "police functions".
Such hypothetical statements make China's neighbors anxious. Many of them suppose that Russia helps China to build up its military power, and that is not positive considering a bunch of unsolved problems in this region. For example, Indonesia declared protest against Chinese "cartographic aggression" in the South-Chinese Sea.
The problems is, according to Indonesian Minister of Politics and Security, with new Chinese maps that include Natoon island and near-by area into Chinese territory. It is being known that wars start on such political maps.
By the way, there was a pleasant surprise to Grachev's visit: Ministry of Defence announced that women would be allowed to study at the prestigious Air Force Academy. Moreover, starting with 1997 10% of all students will be females. After getting their diplomas they will operate modern interceptors and other war planes. That's gonna be lots of fun for our instructors, if we'll keep our relations with Korea up.
Our review seems to have military bias, let's go to another funny topic-crime. Burma Police arrested Chzhao Tsinkun ( a Chinese according to his documents) in the airport. Customs officers found 60 sacks with diamond crumb and 26 kilograms of gold in his baggage. Chzhao arrived from Honk-Kong but police is sure that this gold is from a Swiss bank, and diamond crumb is from Russia, which is a real sensation. Burma is more known as a transition point for drugs produced in the empire of "opium king" Khun Sang, as for gold and diamonds, that might have been a payment for "stuff".
That's enough bad news, let's talk about something nice. Like, Shanghai Zoo administration announced a competition to think of the most beautiful name for a 9-month old panda. 20,000 people offered their ideas. For instance, in honour of famous leader she could be named Mao-mao, but finally they chose a lyrical name An which means "peace".
Trade news. In Japan they intend to replace all alcohol drink machines. In a few months you'll have to prove by a special card you are major to use a "mechanical bar tender". That's really smart!