China is calling on Kazakhstan to respect natural gas supply contracts between the two countries ahead of an anticipated surge in demand during the upcoming winter.

Chinese concerns over supplies were sparked by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s demand in June that the country’s domestic gas supply should increase by 2 billion cubic metres per annum at the expense of exports, which would be likely to have a serious impact on gas supplies to China.

In a recent televised meeting, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov to increase gas supplies to China during winter.