Russia deepens China ties with expanded energy exports

Russia deepens China ties with expanded energy exports

Doubling of coal trade aimed to supplant that with Australia

MOSCOW/BEIJING — Eyeing an opportunity to strengthen energy exports to China, Russia has launched new ventures and pipelines that will deliver coal, natural gas and petrochemicals to the world’s largest energy consumer.

One of these projects envisions doubling Russia’s coal exports to China — enough to replace imports from Australia, with which China’s relations have deteriorated.  

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to pursue greater cooperation across a range of fields, including large-scale energy and industrial projects, in a phone call on Dec. 28.

Describing 2020 as an “extraordinary year,” Xi said that “true gold can stand the test of fire, and the difficult period has given more prominence to the unique strength and great value of the China-Russia relationship,” according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency. 

“By strengthening strategic cooperation, China and Russia can effectively resist any attempt to suppress and divide the two countries, and meanwhile forge a solid shield to safeguard international fairness and justice,” he said, suggesting that the two countries form a united front against headwinds from the U.S. and Europe.