Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico, U.S. secretary of energy and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, writes in Foreign Policy : "While the United States and European Union strongly oppose Russia over its expansionist agenda in Ukraine, China has cautiously avoided having to take a side as the rhetoric became more and more heated. Russia’s increasingly fraught relationship with the West has strengthened China’s hand, allowing them to import cheaper gas from Russia, as evidenced by the deal struck on the sidelines of the recent APEC Summit. As the world’s second-largest economy and number one energy consumer, China is pursuing all possible avenues to ensure its energy security. As the international community isolated Moscow for its actions in Ukraine and its sheltering of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the Chinese in May 2014 seized the opportunity to strike the $400 billion gas deal they had been negotiating for over a decade. This attitude is indicative of Beijing’s recent approaches to some of the world’s energy producing regions to secure energy supplies, sometimes in competition with American and Western interests."
"But to better understand China’s foreign policy globally and in its near-abroad more specifically, one must take a closer look at its energy needs."