Friday, September 12, 2014

The West should not criticize Sino-Russia energy cooperation

September 11, 2014: China and Russia have started to build a joint natural gas pipeline in accordance with the terms of a natural gas supply contract signed between the two countries in May. Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony.
The two countries signed a series of 30-year agreements on natural gas projects such as a USD 400 billion contract for Russia to supply 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China from 2018.
China will start to build the Chinese sector of the pipeline in the first half of 2015. China and Russia are working to promote bilateral cooperation.
However, both the Financial Times and The International New York Times have offered the view that China has emerged as a "winner" from the Ukraine crisis.
According to The International New York Times, Bobo Lo, a specialist in Chinese and Russian foreign policy, is claiming that while the United States and European Union have imposed economic sanctions on Russia over its interventions in eastern Ukraine, China has stood apart and sought to gain concrete advantages.
Such complaints from western countries are groundless.
Fundamentally, cooperation between China and Russia is not a matter of expediency but of mutual benefit. Russia is abundant with energy, especially in East Siberia and the Far East. Meanwhile, China is a big energy consumer. Natural gas imports are increasing year by year. China is increasingly reliant on foreign countries for energy. Therefore, China and Russia are complementary in respect of energy cooperation.
Cooperation between China and Russia is beneficial to the development of East Siberia and the Far East and can promote infrastructure in Russia including roads, substations and power stations. Furthermore, Russia can diversify its energy exports.
 Therefore, Russia will not sacrifice its economic interests for support in the Ukraine conflict.
This round of cooperation is based on a long period of negotiations. China and Russia have signed numerous agreements including bilateral cooperation, routes, and pricing of natural gas.
Western countries have no grounds to criticize China. China has long been opposed to solving disputes via sanctions. “It is imperative for all to cease fire, stay calm and promote political settlement of the Ukraine crisis by making use of current communication and coordination mechanisms,” says Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang.
Western countries cannot interfere with China-Russia cooperation since this cooperation is comprehensive, strategic, stable and permanent.

The article is edited and translated from《中俄能源合作升级水到渠成(望海楼)》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, author: Su Xiaohui, Deputy Director of Department for International and Strategic Studies, China Institute of International Studies 
Editor:Yuan Can、Huang Jin

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