In an effort to smooth over recent tensions between the two countries, Chinese and Australian officials held a signing ceremony in Beijing for a major deal in which China will buy $41 billion worth of Australian natural gas. From the Financial Times:
Martin Ferguson, Australia’s energy and resources minister, was in Beijing to witness the signing of Petrochina’s agreement to buy 2.25m metric tonnes a year of liquid natural gas from the Gorgon project off the coast of Western Australia.
At current gas prices, the deal, which is with ExxonMobil, the world’s largest western oil company, would be worth $41bn over the next 20 years and is Australia’s largest-ever trade deal, Mr Ferguson said.
But the key terms and conditions of the deal were agreed months ago and the timing of the announcement was seen as an attempt to soothe battered relations between Australia and its most important trading partner.
Read also an editorial from The Australian, “Tale of final straws and camel backs.”