• Fri
  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 3:42am

China-Russia relations at all-time high, says Putin ahead of Shanghai visit

Kremlin chief aims to seal long-discussed gas deal and will encourage Chinese investment in Russia during trip to Shanghai this week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 May, 2014, 4:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2014, 3:33am

Amid a crisis in relations with the West over Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving to bolster ties with China.

Russia saw relations with Beijing as a top priority and their ties now were the best ever, Putin said in an interview with Chinese media released by the Kremlin before his trip to Shanghai today.

He said a deal on Russian natural gas exports to China was close to being signed, and would allow Russia to diversify its export routes and let China meet its growing demand for energy.

Russia, which sends most of its gas exports to Europe, has sought to develop an export link to China, but the two nations have been locked for nearly two decades in talks over price.

[The gas deal] is uncertain because the price is still an important issue

Moscow speeded up work on the contract after the United States and European Union slapped travel bans and asset freezes on members of Putin's entourage over Russia's annexation of Crimea and threatened to impose harsher sanctions.

"In the context of the turbulent global economy, the strengthening of mutually beneficial trade and economic ties, as well as the increase of investment flows between Russia and China, are of paramount importance," Putin said.

A deal would secure Beijing a key chunk of supply as demand for the cleaner burning fuel is set to surge.

Putin said that Russia wanted more Chinese investment, in particular in a free-trade zone in the far eastern port of Vladivostok.

"Obviously, we are interested in Chinese businessmen making use of these opportunities and become one of the leaders here, since both Russia and China will benefit from an accelerated development of the Russian far east," he said.

Li Lifan, a Russian and Central Asian affairs expert at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said Russia needed Chinese capital to develop its far east.

Even though the price of Russian gas may be higher than Beijing's original estimation, the government could demand more favourable down payment conditions, Li said.

Li Xing, a Russian affairs expert at Peking University, said hopes were high that the deal could be signed despite sanctions imposed against Russia.

But he added: "It is uncertain because the price is still an important issue."

Li Lifan said Russia would also solicit Beijing's support on Crimea, amid the unrest in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow activists want to join Russia.

"Putin wants China's support," Li said. "China may boost economic investment or participate in infrastructure projects in Crimea, but it's unlikely it will offer strong political support."

Li said Beijing may want Russia's support in handling South China Sea disputes and its row with Vietnam, even though a Sino-Russian military drill in the disputed waters was unlikely.

Associated Press, Reuters


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Well, I guess I'm very privileged to have trio citizenship and go where most of you have never gone. Leave politics out of the equation and domestically I enjoy what total freedom means and what my country could provide for me and family without having to worried about stepping on p-oops or corrupted MTR officials and protests that ruin the weekends where I could go out for a decent outdoor picnic.
While most of you are having an identity crisis and exchange hate mails I would rather spend my time watching Netflix and living my life in a real neighborhood but not an animal farm. Good Luck SAR.
yeah, enjoy yourself and leave the SAR and Asia alone.
good riddance, and stop boasting what u have.
it is u who covet the success of this part of the world.
Don't be so sure,there may be hidden animals anywhere in the country parks.
By the way,human beasts are far more gross.
How About
Comrade Xi, let's ask comrade Putin to foot half the cost of the pipeline.
Why are there so many anti-NATO sentiments in here ? Seems like China and Russia rubbing shoulders are monumental achievement and many readers on this board is hoping for some kind of a new world order. Where do you guys come from? Are most of you sleeping cells ?
Two rogue countries that often recite rhetorics to nuke nearby countries are Iran and North Korea and the former is financially and militarily supported by China & Russia and the latter by China. Forget patriotism and use logic, would you adopt a psychopath as a son and expect friends and neighbors to come over and break bread together under the same roof ?
You have a country that locks away citizens for speaking out and devoid of human rights and a country whose leader is a borderline dictator who is nostalgic of former communism and wanting to bring back its glory, and when both are brought together you have a real dysfunctional alliance. Yet most of you cheer for this unholy marriage. I'm totally dumbfounded at you guys.
And for any of you who hate the west so much you should start another China cultural revolution right here and right now to persecute your parents for bringing you up with western values and teaching you to write and speak English.
Exactly, and logic is what you don't have. Who do you think is behind the break-up of Ukraine? Initiate wars everywhere on Earth claiming to "free the people"? Where are the chemical weapons in Iraq, that's the main initiation for the U.S. to attack you know? Out of tens of thousands of buildings, Chinese embassy got bombed because of intel error, you really believe that?
According to the Federation of American Scientists and the CIA as of Nov 2013, China has 240 nuclear warheads, North Korea has less than 10, while Iran has nil. You know how much nukes the U.S. carries? almost 8,000! I wonder how you claim Iran can nuke neighbors when they don't even have any? Who's the psychopath here making up stories to justify their war initiations everywhere on Earth? Who's the psychopath here with its kids shooting other kids in high schools every now and then? And have such serious and widespread drug problems where narcotics have found its way through every level of society easily accessible to even teenagers?
While I do agree with you on the one point that it is shameful to lock away a few good citizens for speaking out against malpractices, I suggest that you get out of your cave and have a better understanding of modern China; there is nothing Communist about the Communist Party apart from its name.
I am sorry to wake you from your dream, but the true rogues are the U.S. and its allies. China-Russia relationship is simply counter-measures against the psycopaths
How About
Encore... Invitations all the pro-west Wumao-ers to come and take on Herr pwpw!
If you are interested FYI some debate here on NATO dos and don'ts : www.economist.com/news/leaders/21600979-cost-stopping-russian-bear-now-highbut-it-will-only-get-higher-if-west-does. Other than some of the diehard pro-war breast-beatings you will find there are some saner minds in their midst.
I've taken the liberty to go thru the suggested Economist article, well written but it has purposefully avoided the focus on the most crucial event: who was behind the demonstration that toppled Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, in the first place? It would be naive and implausible to think the West was not behind the scene.
While I'm not a pro-war breast-beater, I'm not against any nations from taking effective counter-measures to neutralize foreign provocations.
After all, the Economist is a product of the West, I wouldn't expect them to carry a neutral perspective.
Do you find it hard to wake up in this part of the world?
Hey guy if you hate the west in the west there is no big deal;if you hate China in China you will be taught a lesson.




SCMP.com Account