- China Eastern flight crashed with 132 people on board
- Race for liquefied gas: China secures supplies
- Hong Kong eases Covid measures despite high infection numbers
- VW grabs raw materials for EVs
- Government cuts taxes for small businesses
- Evergrande shares suspended from trading
- Opinion by Zhang Jun: US won’t slow China’s rise
A plane crash is a major incident, even when war and the pandemic kill many people every day. Horror on a global scale does not overshadow regional and personal tragedies. And we have learned to rely on airplanes as a safe form of transportation. This makes the shock of seeing smoking debris on a mountainside all the greater. After all, in China, traveling by plane is like taking the bus.
It was such a routine flight between provincial capitals that crashed on Monday. Flight MU5735 was on its way from Kunming to Guangzhou. In eastern Guangxi, the plane crashed unexpectedly and at high speed into a bamboo forest. Our thoughts are with the 132 victims of the disaster.
Meanwhile, Germany is worried about its supply with gas and oil – despite current horrific events, it is both a legitimate and essential concern because it is vital for Germany’s heating and transport sector. To compensate for a supply stop of Russian gas, the most viable option is the import of liquefied gas. It can be transferred without pipelines. But China, with its high demand, is a tough competitor on the global market when it comes to acquiring liquefied gas, analyzes Ning Wang.
The great hunger for liquid gas
Russia’s war on Ukraine is jeopardizing the energy supply of Germany and many other EU countries. Internally, the German government is already discussing contingency plans for which companies and sectors to cut off first in the event of a gas shortage. Germany now wants to end its gas dependence on Russia within a very short time. Just this weekend, Economics and Climate Minister Habeck visited Qatar to secure natural gas imports for Germany. The emirate is one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG). But so far, Qatar has been mainly supplying Asia.
Because while Germany relied on Russia as its main supplier for years, China and other Asian countries already diversified their imports. Even though LNG is more expensive, as it first needs to be processed in an energy-intensive and costly process. This recently led to the bizarre situation where China resold three LNG shipments from the US to Europe – at a hefty price premium (China.Table reported).
Germany is late in diversifying its gas imports. Meanwhile, LNG buyers from China are signing more and more contracts for long-term supplies. It is true that in recent years, China also covered just under half of its demand with short-term orders. But experts are seeing a shift toward supplier contracts that date far into the future. Sindre Knutsson from the consulting agency Rystad Energy has even identified a decline in the share of short-term orders to between 10 and 20 percent for the first two months of this year. The change to long-term contracts has already begun before the Ukraine crisis.
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