Originally published on 22 December 2014 by The Diplomat.**
…Russia’s competitive position in the Chinese gas market is significantly weaker than the states of Central Asia, and much of this weakness is self-inflicted. Russia’s recent decision to cancel the South Stream gas pipeline, its continuing support for “separatists” in Ukraine and hostile behavior towards many European countries, stagnating European energy demand, and an impending US LNG export push are putting Russia further into a weak position for negotiating with China over gas import terms. A decade ago, Gazprom used the prospect of building pipelines to China to bully its European customers but never actually seriously pursued a gas deal with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Unfortunately for Gazprom, it now increasingly needs Chinese gas customers but while it dallied for the past 10 years, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan moved aggressively to grab gas market share in China as the country’s hunger for imports rose…
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**This article is the product of research and analysis conducted solely by China SignPost co-founder Gabe Collins. It does not reflect the views or assessments of Dr. Andrew Erickson.