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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid