West concerned about Russia and China economic ties
The rise of China is putting the international system under enormous strain and this is intensifying as Russia and China pal up, said Horne.
In July, Australia wanted to block Russia from the G20 summit, blaming it for its alleged role in the downing of flight MH17.
“There is concern about Russia precisely because of its relationship with China. You know that since 2013 President Putin and President Xi Jingping of China have met at least 13 times,” said Horne.
The enormous energy deals brokered between Moscow and Beijing are worth billions of dollars. As the demand for Russian oil and gas in the East grows, the country is ready to provide natural resources and therefore reconsider its economic priorities, the history expert said.
“Some of the pipelines that would be heading eastwards towards China had previously been directing energy westwards to Germany, Ukraine and Poland,” Horne said, commenting on Russia and China's second gas deal signed at the APEC summit.
“There is concern that because of Russia’s preeminent role in the energy markets, some Europeans might be freezing in the dark, and as a result there is enormous pressure on Moscow,” he added.
Last week, President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping signed a memorandum of understanding on the western gas supplies’ route to China. The new pipeline called Altai is in addition to the eastern route, ‘Power of Siberia’, which will annually add 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to the 30 bcm agreed under a $400 billion deal in May 2014.