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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Great Decoupling: How the West is Engineering its Own Downfall

James Corbett 
Activist Post

Reports out of Moscow indicate that Russia is on the verge of signing the “holy grail” of gas deals with China. The deal between Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom and Beijing would see as much as 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year flowing through the first proposed Russia-China pipeline by 2018. The agreement has apparently been in the works for years, but recent events on Moscow’s western flank (read: the Ukrainian situation) has moved the timetable on the plan up dramatically, with the last sticking point being the price. If the deal is signed next month during Putin’s state visit to China, as many analysts are speculating will happen, it will be a significant event not only economically, but geopolitically.

Given the fact that Russia, the world’s largest gas producer, and China, the world’s largest gas consumer, are neighbors it would be logical to assume that a gas pipeline between the two countries already exists. 

But logic and geopolitics seldom mix, and tensions between the two formerly communist countries (however one characterizes China’s current political and economic system) have remained ever since border disputes brought Moscow and Beijing to the brink of war in the 1960s. Establishing a gas link would thus be a very powerful signal of the growing understanding between the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon that their future lies more with each other than it does with a NATO-backed alliance that is increasingly encircling and isolating them.

Speaking of logic, this latest deal, if it is signed after all, would only be the logical extension of all of the moves toward cooperation between Russia, China and their ex-Soviet satellites that we’ve been seeing in recent years.

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