Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Russia has the hydrocarbons, but China has the cash

By Christina Lu

23 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

FP explores the high-stakes game of energy politics between China and Russia, as Moscow looks to solidify its economic future through a massive pipeline project.

Russia has been a crucial energy source for China for years, including the construction of massive oil and gas pipelines in Siberia that have kept China’s industrial heartland humming and Russia’s energy-export diversification strategy alive. What never dropped was the other shoe.

Russia has long championed a second hulking pipeline project that would stretch south through the Altai passes of western Siberia, shipping some 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year to China by the back door. If developed, the new pipeline, called the Power of Siberia 2, would cement the two countries’ energy ties—and pave the way for an increasingly intertwined economic future.

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