Visiting Russian President and his Chinese
counterpart Hu Jintao signed three
pacts but failed to agree on a
pipeline to carry Natural Gas from
Siberia to China. Enjoying closer
political contacts from later 198s
resulting in a 2004 final settlement
on their border dispute, Russian-China
trade grew by 37 to net USD 30 billion
last year. Russia is also China's
largest weapons supplier.
However, despite many years of negotiation, the
two countries failed to reach an
agreement that will allow China's
investment in the Russian energy
sector. China hopes to raise Russia's
contribution of oil imports from the
present 8% to 15% in the next few
years. Like most countries, China
wants to lower its dependence on oil
from the strife-prone West Asian
region. China hoped to get a branch of
the pipeline from Siberia, intention
to carry gas for the Pacific Rim to
meet this goal.
After Saudi Arabia, Russia is the second largest exporter of
oil in the world and shipped by rail 15 million tons
(an increase of 25%) to China last year. Russia said
that eventually, it would ship 60-80 billion cubic
meters of natural gas a year to China.
However, the two countries signed three deals agreeing to
principle to cooperate on oil and gas exploration.