Oil for China: The Sino-Russian Waltz

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It is called the biggest soap opera in oil transfer history. The East Siberian Pacific Ocean Pipeline (ESPOP), proposed last century, was slated originally to transfer oil from Russia to China. Both countries expressed excitement at the prospect of working together to build the world’s most expensive pipeline. The project appeared to be the best of worlds for both countries: Russia would cultivate China as a market for its oil, and China’s dynamic economy would find new external energy resources. This article details the geopolitical intrigue, historical context, economic implications, and energy resource implications that are inexorably tied together in the ESPOP story.

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