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Massive Russian Energy Buys Are Transforming China’s Global Trade

File image of a Russian coal shipment being off-loaded in eastern Jiangsu province on July 12, 2023, for use in power generation plants in the surrounding area. AFP

Russia is now China’s largest single supplier of energy commodities in a shift that is also transforming Beijing’s trade engagement in countries throughout the Global South.

Whereas fifteen years ago, China sourced a third of its imported crude oil from African countries, that figure is now around 10% and falling while Chinese oil purchases shifted to Persian Gulf countries and Russia for the bulk of the oil imports.

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