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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More