Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Monday, Jun 13, 2016

As fossil consumption dips, Beijing-Moscow cooperation faces new challenges

(Global Times)    11:31, June 13, 2016

  Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Editor's Note:

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit China this month. Rossiya Segodnya recently invited experts to a video seminar to discuss the China-Russia relationship, with energy cooperation top on the agenda. What are the most effective ways to cooperate in this field? How will the bilateral relationship develop? Chinese scholars exchanged views with their Russian counterparts.

Feng Yujun, director of the Institute of Russian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations

The global economy and the energy market are experiencing historical changes, bringing drastic adjustments to China-Russia energy cooperation. Despite falling oil prices, China and Russia have seen increasing oil trade volume and diversified cooperation.

Apart from traditional oil trading, the two sides are exploring pipelines. High-level exchanges will instill impetus to bilateral energy cooperation as well. As the Russian market is increasingly open to China, a number of Chinese financial agencies have speeded up their investments in Russian energy projects.

However, it should be noted that the energy market is undergoing fundamental changes. Energy reform, which is characterized by the US shale gas revolution, has exerted major influences on the global market. The consumption of fossil energy is predicted to decline, posing challenges to China-Russia cooperation.

Xu Qinhua, professor at the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China

China-Russia energy cooperation is increasingly diversified, strategically focused and motivated. Both governments are focusing more on long-term gains than instant profits. In the past, some observers worried that certain countries may take advantage of energy cooperation to exploit resources in other regions. However, energy cooperation has become an important tool to solidify bilateral relationships.

The role of China and Russia has been changed in today's energy cooperation. Considering the abundant oil and gas resources in Russia, China can function as a bridge to transit Russia's resources to Asia-Pacific countries, which are now key energy consumers.

It is true that China-Russia cooperation may be upset by certain negative factors. However, fluctuating oil prices have provided the two states with opportunities to strengthen their collaboration. This will help stabilize the global energy market and establish a sound basis for the two states to have a greater say in international affairs.

Igor Tomberg, director of the Center for Energy and Transport in the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences

Although energy cooperation between China and Russia is not developing as fast as we expected, cooperative projects are progressing smoothly. We should be alert to the fact that the bilateral relationship is now being upset by a number of negative factors, for instance, the slowing world economy and the global economic crisis. Therefore, it is of vital importance for the two sides to explore new ways to cooperate. It is wise for top leaders to meet amid international economic difficulties. The two nations are jointly exploring ways to get out of the current difficulties.

Irina Pominova, expert at Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation

We should prioritize the construction of oil and gas pipelines. To this end, we need to sketch a more detailed development plan. Given the negative international factors, the bilateral relationship between China and Russia is not developing as fast as expected, and domestically, there are some pessimistic voices on energy cooperation.

However, it should be noted that the cooperation will for sure return to the right track. The two sides can explore more fields to cooperate and to improve the current cooperative mechanism.

Political talks and meetings can become concrete economic cooperative projects. The two sides are also advised to change their trading patterns and to establish a fund to take charge of energy cooperation projects.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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