Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Monday launched the first gas pipeline linking the two countries.
“Today is remarkable, a truly historic event not only for the global energy market, but first of all for you and us, Russia and China,” Putin said during a televised ceremony featuring the two leaders.
Russia is also planning soon to launch two more gas pipelines that would ramp up supplies to Europe, while bypassing Ukraine.
TurkStream, which Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hope to launch next month, is to transport Russian gas to Turkey.
Nord Stream-2, which would double Russian gas volumes to Germany, is expected to go online in the middle of next year.
Analysts said that the three projects have long-term economic and political benefits for Russia, which has inserted itself between European markets to the west and the rapidly growing Chinese market to the east.
“Russia is not only creating new income streams, but hedging its bets and bolstering its position strategically,” energy analyst Andrew Hill wrote in a blog post.
“The ability to play one off against the other will not have been lost on either Gazprom or the Kremlin,” said Hill, who leads the S&P Global Platts EMEA gas and power analytics team.
He said that the three projects were a sign that the Russian gas industry — “this kingpin of the global gas sector” — was becoming more mature.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the significance of the 3,000km Power of Siberia pipeline running from remote regions of East Siberia to Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border was hard to overestimate.
“This is important for our country; this is important for China,” he said ahead of the launch, stressing that the project would create jobs and infrastructure in Russia’s Far East.
The pipeline, which Putin has called “the world’s biggest construction project,” crowns years of tough negotiations and work in difficult conditions.
A 30-year, US$400 billion deal was signed in 2014 after a decade of tortuous talks. It was the Russian gas giant Gazprom’s biggest contract.
Speaking in Moscow last week, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng (樂玉成) said the pipeline would boost cooperation and allow the two countries “to complement each other’s strengths and pursue common rejuvenation.”
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for