China and Russia: Best frenemies | The Economist

CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

ON MAY 21st, after a nail-biting session of late-night brinkmanship, China and Russia signed an enormous gas deal worth, at a guess, around $400 billion. Their agreement calls for Russia’s government-controlled Gazprom to supply state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation with up to 38 billion cubic metres of gas a year between 2018 and 2048. The deal capped a two-day visit to China by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, that included a regional-security summit and joint military exercises off the Chinese coast.

Mr Putin called the deal the biggest in the history of Russia’s gas industry. But it counts, too, for the geopolitics that underpin it. That an agreement should come now, after a decade of haggling, is no accident. The deal will help the Kremlin reduce Russia’s reliance on gas exports to Europe. It is proof that Mr Putin has allies when he seeks to blunt Western sanctions over…

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