Resources Science ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (2): 237-249.doi: 10.18402/resci.2018.02.02

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Progress, driving forces and challenges of Sino-Russian energy cooperation under the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor

Yang YANG1,2(), Suocheng DONG1,2(), Zehong LI1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-04-11 Revised:2017-09-16 Online:2018-02-20 Published:2018-02-11


Sino-Russian energy cooperation is geo-strategic cooperation between China and Russia, and is an important part of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Since 1996 when Sino-Russian energy cooperation started, it has undergone many setbacks, but also great progress. Cooperation fields have expanded from the oil and gas trade to whole industry chain cooperation including oil and gas exploration and development, technical services of upstream cooperation, oil and gas pipeline construction of midstream cooperation, refining and chemical cooperation of downstream cooperation, along with implementation of the China- Mongolia- Russia Economic Corridor, Sino- Russian energy cooperation embraces new opportunities. We summarized progress in Sino-Russian energy cooperation, analyzed internal and external driving forces of energy cooperation from the perspectives of supply and demand, energy policy, international division of labor, comparative advantages and international geo-environment change. We concluded that energy supply and demand and comparative advantages between China and Russia are highly complementary, energy strategies and regional development strategies are highly consistent, and geographic advantages are obvious. The internal consistency of Sino-Russian interests determine the necessity to launch Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation, while external factors such as adjustment of the European union's energy strategy, shale gas revolution, the Ukraine event in 2014, increasing close energy cooperation between China and Central Asia, accelerated the process of Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation. Though current Sino-Russian oil and gas cooperation is promising, there are still many challenges. With the increasingly complex international geo-environment, to promote Sino-Russian energy cooperation, Russia and China should strengthen mutual trust, improve Sino-Russian geo-strategic cooperation; fully take advantage of strategic opportunities arising from the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, extend cooperation modes and fields; establish long-term Sino Russian energy cooperation strategic plans; improve Sino-Russian energy cooperation mechanisms; and together with surrounding countries establish a regional energy community.

Key words: Sino-Russion energy cooperation, progress, driving forces, challenges, strategies, China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor