Beijing: China and Russia on Sunday signed new agreements to boost energy cooperation, including a deal to develop a second route to supply 30 billion of natural gas to the energy-hungry Communist giant.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation agreements, including an MoU of the China-Russia West Route natural gas pipeline and a framework agreement between China National Petroleum Corporation, the country's largest oil and gas producer, and Russia's energy giant Gazprom, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Russia's "western" or "Altay" route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China, reports from the Russian media said.
The new supply line comes in addition to the "eastern" pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China.
Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a USD 400 billion deal was clinched in May this year.
Today's agreement was signed coinciding with Putin's visit to take part in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting beginning tomorrow.
The deal with China gives Russia a major boost at a time when Washington and the European Union have slapped sanctions on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.
The agreement give Russia a way to vastly expand its market for its gas, which now goes mostly to Europe. For China, the world's second-largest economy, the cooperation helps ease gas shortages and curb its dependence on pollution causing coal.
Both Putin and Xi agreed to strengthen energy cooperation, saying that it is of great significance to safeguarding the two countries' energy security.
"Regarding cooperation in the international sphere, the most important thing is cooperation between China and Russia to keep the world within the framework of international law, to make it more stable, more predictable," Putin said.
"Together we have carefully taken care of the tree of Russian-Chinese relations. Now fall has set in, it's harvest time," Xi said.
The two countries have seen broader and closer feasible cooperation in new situation, according to the two leaders.
They agreed to push forward the construction of the east route gas pipeline as scheduled, launch the west route at an early date, negotiate major oil projects in an earnest manner, and discuss new cooperation projects of nuclear power and hydropower.
The two leaders also agreed to beef up cooperation in high-speed rail, high technology, aerospace and finance sectors.
Xi has held talks or met with Putin ten times since he assumed the office of Chinese presidency in March 2013.