Russia’s president Vladimir Putin is on a state visit to China to sign a series of energy deals.
Point of view
After inspecting an honour guard and receiving a 21 gun salute in Tianenmen square Putin and counterpart Xi Jinping sat down to do business.
Putin is particularly eager to push on with a 30 year long deal which would see Russia sell gas to China worth 400 billion dollars.
However there are indications that China has gone cool over the deal since it was struck two years ago. Its economy has slowed and its demand for gas has gone down.
Two pipelines need to be built to make it happen: one, the power of Siberia has already been agreed on but the other, the Altai pipeline, remains under discussion.
Aside from gas, Russia remains China’s largest crude oil supplier for a third month in a row, having overtaken imports from Saudi Arabia.