Posted by: mulrickillion | October 16, 2011

China-Russia economic co-op far beyond oil and gas

Xinhua, 2011-10-14 —

BEIJING – Cooperation in the oil and gas sector constitutes a major part of China-Russia economic relations, but it is not everything.

While strengthening their energy cooperation, Chinese and Russian economic managers are now exploring new fields to diversify their economic ties and optimize the trade structure.

That was illustrated by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s latest visit to Beijing, where he co-chaired with Premier Wen Jiaobao the 16th regular meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers. Putin made the visit from Tuesday to Wednesday, which was his first overseas trip since he announced his plan to run for the Russian presidency again.

As always, Putin’s visit garnered great attention from the press, largely thanks to an on-going pricing negotiation on natural gas. Russian gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation have signed a framework agreement, under which Russia will deliver 70 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually via two pipelines. However, the agreement has been delayed over pricing disagreements.

"Energy cooperation is an important part of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, of strategic, comprehensive and lasting significance," said Vice Premier Wang Qishan on the sidelines of the meeting.

Early this year, an oil pipeline linking Russia’s far east and northeast China started operating, which will transport 15 million tonnes of crude oil from Russia to China annually between 2011 to 2030.

Wang said the completion and operation of the Sino-Russian pipeline marked a breakthrough in energy cooperation, opening up a steady market for the import and export of Russian crude oil.

According to Putin, the negotiation on the huge gas supply deal is pressing ahead and reaching the end.

"We are nearing the final stage of work on gas supplies," the Russian Prime Minister told reporters on Tuesday.

"Those who sell always want to sell at a higher price, while those who buy want to buy at a lower price," Putin said, adding that he believes the enterprises "will find a fair and rational solution to that issue."

Putin’s remarks were echoed by Chinese scholars. "It is natural that the companies will bargain over the price, and that takes time," said Xing Guangcheng, a fellow researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Xing said he was sure the two sides will finally reach a compromise and cut a deal as China and Russia are "new-type strategic partners mutually complementary" in the energy sector.

The energy cooperation between Russia and China is not confined to the supply of oil and natural gas, Putin said, adding that the two countries are working together on major exploration and exploitation projects as well.

The two countries are also cooperating in nuclear energy. The China Experimental Fast Reactor that Russia’s vice prime minister Igor Sechin visited on the sidelines of Putin’s visit, is one of the results of China-Russia cooperation on nuclear energy. . . .

China-Russia economic co-op far beyond oil and gas|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn

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