Thursday, 22 May 2014

Russia - China Rapprochement - Not so big a deal.

Body language says a lot:  Putin and  Xi Jinping looking away from each other as the gas pipeline from Siberia to China is announced.   This is not a triumph.    Although analyst Goldman sees big problems with expanded military cooperation coming up,  Russia has had to settle for lower gas prices, China has quietly brought its first fracked gas on-line and probably has a way to get out of the deal if gas drops far. (At the link read notes for May 21st.)

The body language belies the official handshake photos.  (Clip sourced here.)
Click on body language to see how it goes.

Maybe a big deal despite the antipathy:  Goldman quotes the south China Morning Post:  "Chinese and Russian units taking part in the Joint Sea-2014 drill will be combined rather than operating separately during the exercise, the first time the Chinese navy has worked so closely with a foreign maritime force".

Somewhere down the line it makes sense for Siberia to be a Chinese hinterland rather than a Russian one.  Watch the investment and migration.

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