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China’s Energy Security Policy and U.S.-China Relations

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2012, 27(2), pp.229-258
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2012.27.2.008
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

Byungkwang Park 1

1(사)국가안보전략연구소

Candidate

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and predict U.S.-China relations on energy issues, which remains a contentious issue between the two states as they strive for global leadership. Over the next ten to twenty years, conflict and competition on energy between the United States and China will be fierce because of structural limitations. As yet though, it is still not easy to determine whether the assertive energy security policies and subsequent aggressive efforts for securing energy resources of the two countries will lead to a zero sum game. This is due to the fact that U.S.-China relations have the potential for compromise and cooperation as well as competition and confrontation. The United States and China share common interests in maintaining a reasonable price of oil, securing sea lines of communication, and a stable international political and economic environment. Moreover, the two countries can strengthen the strategic framework on new energy development. Meanwhile, the international community should maintain cooperation with China rather than consider its aggressive energy diplomacy as a strategic challenge. Furthermore, in order to prevent confrontations over energy issues, the international community should also engage China so that it could embrace the norms of the international community. In this way, the ongoing energy competition between the United States and China will eventually allow for a new form of strategic cooperation between the two countries.

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