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Brazil has no expansionist plans: defense minister

Brazil urges US, rich nations to act on climate change
Brazil's president on Tuesday urged the United States, China and others to do their share to reduce greenhouse gases so that a key global summit in Copenhagen in December can be a success. "If we solve a little bit the US issue, and Obama tries to convince his Congress and the Senate" to accept more ambitious climate objectives, "then things can advance," Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva said in Stockholm. "We have to talk a lot with China and we have to talk a lot with India," he added, during a joint press conference in the Swedish capital following an EU-Brazil summit. "We need to arrive in Copenhagen knowing... how much each country emits," from the smallest African nations like Guinea-Bissau to the United States, Lula asserted. "Each country should take responsibility for the damage that they are causing," to the environment, he added. "From the moment we know how much the US or China emits, we'll know what efforts they have to make." Lula said he regretted that the US had set itself relatively low targets for cutting emissions, using 2005 levels as the baseline, whereas Europe has vowed to make 20 percent cuts from the significantly lower levels seen in 1990. "Everyone should fulfil their obligations after each country does their homework," in order to guarantee success in Copenhagen, he stressed. The world summit on global warming will take place from December 7-18 in the Danish capital. The goal is to reach a global accord under a G8 pledge to restrict global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, by stopping the increase in greenhouse gases by 2015 and cutting emissions in half by 2050.
by Staff Writers
Buenos Aires (AFP) Oct 6, 2009
Brazil's recent increase in defense spending is necessary to protect the country's resources and not a sign of expansionist policies, the country's defense minister said Tuesday.

"Brazil has not started an arms race and has no expansionist intentions," Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim said in an interview with Clarin newspaper in Buenos Aires, where he was giving a speech on development and defense.

Jobim said the protection of Brazil's strategic natural resources required a strong defense policy, which has so far included a massive investment in development of an arms industry to improve the Brazilian military's technical capacity.

Jobim said Brazil is well-positioned for the future because of the richness of its natural resources, but be able to protect them.

"We have significant energy resources in terms of hydrocarbons and the sea, we have grain production, the Amazon and part of the Guarani aquifer. The big issues for the future will be energy, water and food," he said.

"The question is one of a deterrent capacity, not imperialism."

The defense minister added that Brazil aims to increase its technological capabilities in the fields of space, nuclear technology and cybertechnology so that "the country can say 'No' when we need to say 'No.'"

earlier related report
Bolivia defends Chinese aircraft purchases
La Paza, Bolivia (UPI) - Bolivia is defending its light attack aircraft purchases from China and an open line of credit for military hardware imports from Russia, arguing that its weapons acquisitions are less significant than those by other South American countries.

Defense Minister Walker San Miguel said in a statement Bolivia spends less than its neighbors on military hardware and is committed to the principles of peace and dissuasion.

"But we can't have armed forces that do not have access to the minimum equipment for their professional training and action if needed," San Miguel said, MercoPress reported.

His comments followed other South American leaders' recent pronouncements criticizing arms purchases by their neighbors and calls for restraint in military expenditure.

The Obama administration has said it is worried about huge arms purchases by nations that should be directing their cash resources to poverty reduction.

The minister's comment came after government confirmation that Bolivia would buy six K-8 aircraft from China to bolster its anti-narcotics operations and border controls.

The government of President Evo Morales has come under strong criticism for having approved the purchase worth $57.8 million -- funds that critics said should have been directed toward development in Bolivia.

A similar model of the K-8 was bought earlier by Venezuela.

Further criticism followed the open line of credit for arms purchases from Russia, though details of the arms purchases have not been revealed.

The financing arrangement for the aircraft is not clear, but China is pursuing a combined diplomatic and economic campaign in South America to increase its footprint in the region, secure energy and raw materials for its burgeoning industrial growth and win friends where it had few in the past. China has also promised to put a Bolivian satellite into space.

The aircraft was developed jointly by China and Pakistan as a two-seat trainer but later was fitted with advanced avionics and gun emplacements to function as a combat aircraft.

China has successfully sold the aircraft to Egypt, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, Southeast Asian countries and the Philippines, where it is likely to replace the British Aerospace BAE Hawk Mk.53 jet trainer.

San Miguel indicated Bolivia chose the Chinese option because it failed to receive positive response from European suppliers and the United States. "The U.S. is not helping and Europe has its own regulations, so we went to China," he said.

A matching purchase from the Czech Republic did not go through because of U.S. objections.

Last week Morales said Bolivia also could not receive five helicopters as a "donation" from Brazil because those aircraft, too, had U.S. components and could not be transferred to Bolivia before approval from Washington.

Morales has been at loggerheads with U.S. government agencies and suspended cooperation with Washington, accusing Drug Enforcement Administration agents of spying.

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China military power unknown despite parade show: experts
Beijing (AFP) Oct 1, 2009
President Hu Jintao on Thursday called for even stronger armed forces as China flexed its muscles in a National Day parade, but experts said the PLA's marching skills might exceed actual fighting ability. Illustrating the importance China attaches to its growing military strength, the People's Liberation Army kicked off a dazzling celebration in Beijing of the nation's 60th birthday by showi ... read more

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