Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 12/2011

China's Energy and Security Relations with Russia: Hopes, Frustrations and Uncertainties

Linda Jakobson, paul holtom, Dean Knox, Jingchao Peng

October 2011

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


The leaders of China and Russia like to speak in public of the strategic partnership between the two countries, based on mutual interests and trust. In reality, the two cornerstones of the relationship—arms sales and energy cooperation—are crumbling. China has not placed a significant order for Russian arms since 2005 and buys only a fraction of its energy imports from Russia. This timely report illuminates the current status of China’s security and energy relations with Russia. The authors describe a relationship that is complex and at times fraught with distrust, and which, although potentially promising, is increasingly marred by uncertainties.