News / Asia

China, Russia Fail to Reach Gas Deal

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing an agreement during a bilateral meeting at the Xijiao State Guesthouse ahead of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing an agreement during a bilateral meeting at the Xijiao State Guesthouse ahead of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia
VOA News
China and Russia failed to reach a $400 billion natural gas supply agreement Tuesday despite high expectations that the political interests of both countries would push them to complete the deal.

On a visit to Shanghai, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, signed 49 agreements on energy, transportation and communications. But they did not agree on how much China would pay Russia to supply gas over the next 30 years.

Negotiations over a Russia-to-China gas deal have lasted a decade.

Analysts had predicted a deal could be reached now as Russia looks to sell its gas outside Europe, where U.S. allies have imposed sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. China is seeking to move from its heavy reliance on coal to fuel its economic expansion.

The two countries still could reach a gas deal before Putin ends his two-day visit to China on Wednesday. His spokesman (Dmitry Peskov) said "significant progress" had been made and a contract could be signed "at any moment."

Even with the setback on the gas deal, President Xi praised his country's ties with Russia, saying the relationship is key to improving each others' international stature.

"We attach a lot of importance to the quality of practical cooperation between China and Russia," he said. "We will begin more large-scale, strategic project cooperation to improve our two nations' power and international competitiveness."

President Putin, meanwhile, stressed the importance of strong Russia-China military links, which he said could help maintain regional peace.

"Cooperation between the two militaries is very important. Cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries is also very important," he said. "This cooperation is very significant in maintaining regional and global peace and stability."
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Baldur Dasche from: Botswanaland
May 21, 2014 9:52 AM
The FIX is in! 30 years - $400 billion -and not payable in US dollars.

by: Igor from: Russia
May 20, 2014 11:56 PM
Putin is very tough and intelligent. No country including the US and China can force him to do what he dislikes. China, like the US is a partner no more, no less. Putin never trusts any of them.
In Response

by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
May 22, 2014 3:24 AM
Well, desperately Putin needs China's cooperation now to scare off Western's economic sanction against Russia. But the Chinese are trying to take advantage Putin's current political situation. That's why the gas deal could not go through!

by: unclesam20009 from: Shengzhen, China
May 20, 2014 10:39 PM
Russia signed agreements with Ukraine before. How do Russian respect agreements they signed? you can never trust polar bear!
In Response

by: unclesam20009 from: Shengzhen, China
May 22, 2014 10:28 PM
I mean the Russian once signed agreement respecting Ukraine 's integrity and sovereignty. Now they just see it as trash.
In Response

by: Roman from: Poland
May 22, 2014 5:33 PM
You mean Russia agreed to supply Ukraine with free gas?

by: Commentator6 from: UK
May 20, 2014 8:35 PM
The gas price gap .....

by: Steve from: Berkeley California
May 20, 2014 3:23 PM
VOA should refrain from crowing just yet. Let's see if China and Russia cut a deal on the price of the gas and seal the deal. China needs a reliable partner not one like the US that can turn on a trade partner overnight using blackmail and political threats to bludgeon then into submission. The Chinese are now getting a hefty dose of "cyberspying" propaganda pushing them into unfavorable PR territory. AS if we don';t cyberspy hah hah just kidding.
In Response

by: ezimerman from: US
May 21, 2014 1:52 AM
Wow. That's pretty funny - Russia is a reliable partner? They just doubled Ukraine's price on gas b/c things didn't go their way politically.

by: meanbill from: USA
May 20, 2014 2:47 PM
China owes a never ending debt to Russia, who supported them with fighting men and weapons, in their war against Japan, the US, NATO and the Chinese nationalists, and south Koreans...
Russia was the only country that supported them in the UN against sanctions and embargo's imposed upon them by the US, EU, and other countries, and supplied weapons to them, to defend themselves.. -- In Manchuria, Mao gave Russia a huge part of the motherland, for the sacrifices the Russian people made.. -- (They may argue and fight, but they will always be, brothers?)

May 20, 2014 2:13 PM
Whatever Russia sells to China,they would fake them and sell them on to other countries at the expense of the Russian arms export industry.An increasingly powerful China would pose more threats to Russian security so there would never be a long term alliance between the 2 countries.Mr Putin aims high and is nostalgic of the Great influential Soviet Empire, and so he is not going to let China get the lion's share. This meeting is strictly business at the end of the day
In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
May 23, 2014 7:43 PM
Yes, I agree. The deep alliance and trust would never grow between the two countires because they are the same as an extremely arrogont and having-no-ear to other countries' claims.
In Response

by: Free Thinker from: CA
May 21, 2014 1:46 PM
Good point. Totally agree!
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
May 21, 2014 5:15 AM
Very insightful comment. Good point.

by: Tachi Robinhood
May 20, 2014 7:47 AM
It was America that has cornered Russia and China together. With these two countries united, a positive force is formed to defend the world peace. Future confrontation with America can be expected since America has sowed too much hatred in this world.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
May 21, 2014 5:22 AM
Wrong. China has too much hatred in the world, from Africa to Asia. Russia will never unite with China because they understand the threat from China very well. China also claim Siberia from Russia and many Chinese have moved to Siberia, with Chinese signs in Siberia. U.S. is the only hope in world to confront a more powerful and aggressive China.
In Response

by: ezimerman from: US
May 21, 2014 1:55 AM
Nonsense. Contrary to the flag burning of some of the ignorant masses, rational state actors don't want war with the US. It would hurt them just as much. Any serious conflagration will be between a powerful actor and a weaker one.

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