Despite significant disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial aspect of the Sino-Russian relationship is booming. This year, trade between Beijing and Moscow is projected to set another record and exceed $130 billion, mainly thanks to soaring oil and coal prices amid China’s energy crunch this autumn. The landmark Power of Siberia gas pipeline is supplying higher volumes than agreed in the contract, and both sides are busy finalizing another pipeline deal that will pump gas from the Yamal Peninsula to China.
Yet this upward trajectory in Sino-Russian trade is set to encounter significant headwinds. COVID-related restrictions imposed by Beijing on Russian food exporters have caused them to suffer major losses, and some have started to diversify away from the Chinese market. Beijing’s ambitions for peak carbon emissions by 2030 and a fully decarbonized economy by 2060 cast doubt on the commercial feasibility of long-term energy projects with a lengthy payback period. As China’s share in Russian trade grows, so does Beijing’s geoeconomic leverage over Moscow—posing questions for the Kremlin about its long-term strategy vis-à-vis an increasingly important and powerful partner.
- What are the key drivers and obstacles in Sino-Russian economic cooperation?
- How badly does China need Russian commodities exports?
- Is Russia concerned about China’s growing geoeconomic clout, and does it have any alternatives?
Join Alexander Gabuev, Vita Spivak and Jiayi Zhou to explore these issues and more. To submit a question for the event, please use the YouTube chat or tweet at us @CarnegieRussia.
The event will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation into Russian.