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

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-66-5
October, 2011

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.


1. Introduction

2. The strategic partnership

3. Military cooperation

4. Energy cooperation

5. Conclusions


Paul Holtom Paul Holtom is the Head of the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme at UNIDIR. He was previously the Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.