News / Asia

Long-Term Impact of China-Russia Gas Deal Uncertain

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping, right, smile during signing ceremony in Shanghai, China, on May 21, 2014.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping, right, smile during signing ceremony in Shanghai, China, on May 21, 2014.
William Ide
China and Russia have wrapped up decade-long talks over a natural gas pipeline that will link up resources in Siberia to key coastal Chinese cities. Some analysts say the deal is an important milestone that will open the door to broader cooperation, but the long-term impact is still far from certain.
 
The expansion of energy ties between China and Russia in recent years and the signing of a 30-year agreement for natural-gas supplies go beyond just the pipeline and helping the Chinese economy, says Lin Boqiang, an energy economist at Xiamen University in Fujian province.
 
Lin said it is a "milestone for such a massive deal to be wrapped up by the leaders of both countries." He said being able to do that, after years of negotiations,  "significantly raises hopes for the further development of Sino-Russian relations."
 
Construction, energy deals

In meetings this week, the leaders of China and Russia signed an extensive joint strategic agreement that touches on more than just oil and gas. The two agreed to explore the joint construction of power plants in Russia to help China meet its energy needs.
 
They agreed to construct cross-border bridges and improve trade linkages through ports and railways. They are also looking to boost cooperation in a wide range of fields, from nuclear energy to civil aviation and manned space flight.
 
Still, trade ties between Russia and China are small when compared to Beijing's links with Europe or the United States. Moscow hopes to grow trade to $200 billion a year by 2020, a total that is still less than half of China's current trade volumes with the U.S. or European Union.
 
Beyond trade

But boosting ties goes beyond just trade, according to Zhang Lihua, a professor of international relations at Beijing's Tsinghua University.

She said China could use Russia's support in dealing with Japan and with territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
 
"Russia, on the other hand, needs China's support with Syria, Ukraine and other issues in the Middle East," Zhang said. The two countries have "shared interests in dealing with regional disputes and in balancing the influence of the United States."
 
However, relations between Russia and China have not always been smooth and twists and turns in energy deals are not uncommon. Russia is also facing the threat of growing sanctions from the West.
 
Lin said the threat of sanctions "could have a small impact, but nothing beyond that." That's because "China has a different view" when it comes to sanctions, he noted.
 
Other gas options

Russia is not the only country looking to meet China's growing demand for natural gas.
 
Erica Downs, with the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., focuses on China's energy sector. She said China doesn't absolutely need the pipeline to meet its energy needs.
 
"There is a lot of gas out there in the world. There are a lot of gas projects that could be developed and I think the view in China is that there are a lot of countries out there that really want to supply us," she explained.
 
In addition to gas exports opening up from the United States in 2015 and Canada considering similar moves, there are new sources in Burma and off the east coast of Africa -- and China has its own domestic exploration of shale gas. Analysts say that while China's shale gas resources are not likely to come online until around 2020, they could have an impact on the Russia-China deal.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Schneider from: B.R.Deutschland
May 22, 2014 6:54 PM
It is too mysterious to understand that the Sino-Russo gas deal has been wrapped up. China is a country that never respects international laws, and Russia is a country that readily breaches international laws.

In Response

by: Oum from: International Community
May 23, 2014 1:51 PM
In the same way the West refers to the "international community" as themselves.

In Response

by: MOD from: CHINA
May 23, 2014 7:50 AM
Inernational law is US law

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid