As the West tries to punish Moscow, China touts growing energy ties with Russia

Quartz

The US and the EU are scrambling to strengthen sanctions against Russia, in response to mounting evidence that Russian troops are invading Ukraine. China, on the other hand, has been touting its budding business relationship with Russia. This past weekend, leaders from Beijing and Moscow met in the Russian capital for the 11th “China-Russia Energy Cooperation Committee.”

China’s first vice premier Zhang Gaoli, one of the country’s seven most powerful men, was there. He told China’s state-run media that Beijing would “devote consistent and unswerving efforts to establishing a strategic partnership of energy cooperation with Russia.”

Zhang then flew to Yakutsk, Siberia to attend a ceremony today marking the opening of the $5 billion “Sila Sibiri” (Power of Siberia) gas pipeline that will ship Russian gas to China, possibly as soon as 2017. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be there. Construction of the 4,000 kilometer (2,485 mile)…

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