China is expected to be a major presence at the 28th meeting of the Energy Charter Conference, scheduled to be held in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat on November 28-29. Chinese officials are looking to catalyze efforts to secure larger volumes of energy imports from Central Asian suppliers, especially Turkmenistan, and promote projects connected to the $1-trillion Belt and Road infrastructure development initiative.
The Energy Charter Treaty dates back to 1991 and was designed to provide a clear framework for all facets of cross-border energy development in Eurasia in the post-Soviet era, including investment and transit. Members are primarily European and post-Soviet states. China gained observer status in 2001.
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Gary Sands is a Senior Analyst at Wikistrat, a crowdsourced consultancy, and a Director at Highway West Capital Advisors, a venture capital, project finance and political risk advisory. He has contributed commentaries to US News and World Report, Newsweek, Washington Times, The Diplomat, The National Interest, International Policy Digest, Asia Times, Eurasia Review, Indo-Pacific Review, the South China Morning Post, Global Times and China Digital Times.