Power of Siberia Pipeline Strengthens Russia-China Ties

Power of Siberia Pipeline Strengthens Russia-China Ties

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A pipeline over snow covered in icicles
December 23, 2019

The Power of Siberia gas pipeline brings Russia and China closer together, and reveals a new power dynamic between the two countries.

In early December China received its first delivery of Russian natural gas through the Power of Siberia pipeline. The new pipeline crosses 1800 miles of Siberian wilderness from the Arctic to the Chinese border, and is vitally important to both countries. For Russia, the pipeline will be a source of much needed foreign revenue, and a counter to US and European economic sanctions that followed its annexation of Crimea in 2014. China, for its part, gains a new alternative to imports of liquefied natural gas, and improved energy security.

Beyond Power of Siberia’s energy and economic benefits, much has been made its political implications. The pipeline is the latest example of deepening ties between China and Russia at a time when both countries have been at odds with another key player in the global energy market, the United States. 

Kleinman Center Senior Fellows Anna Mikulska and Bill Hederman take a look at what Power of Siberia may reveal about a shift in the global energy market, and the geopolitical influence of key players in that market.