Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to meet with Chinese leaders in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss, among other things, a long-planned natural gas deal between the two countries, AFP reported. Russian foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov said that his country planned to sign 17 diplomatic and commercial agreements during the three-day visit, including a gas pipeline which could pump 70 billion cubic meters of gas to China. The deal has long been in the works, but the two countries have so far failed to agree on pricing terms. However, new reforms currently being tested in China’s Guangdong and Guangxi provinces and due to be rolled out nationwide in coming years could dramatically raise the price of natural gas in the country, perhaps to five times to benchmark level in the US. Experts say the price reforms could make China a significant importer of natural gas, particularly from North America.
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