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China’s Energy Security Policy in the Greater Middle East
|Issue Date:||2014-07-14 11:33:10 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract:||Global energy politics has undergone a structural change in recent years. In general terms, production and consumption centers have been realigned along with changes in the cores of manufacturing and economic development. Energy consumption has become denser in East Asia whereas the former consumption center, North America, has achieved greater independency thanks to new technologies, stagnant or declining consumption and further shift toward service-based and less energy-intensive industries. The center of global energy production, in the meanwhile, remains to be the Middle East (ME), specifically the Persian Gulf, however, its dominant status has been undermined recently with decreasing energy dependency of the United States. In this structural shift of energy geopolitics, thus, China and the U.S. have witnessed their positions vis-à-vis the Middle East began to shift.|
Essentially, this research offers critical policy analysis in a comparative setting. It attempts to empirically evaluate the Chinese and U.S. foreign policy strategies in the Greater Middle East and investigate how they relate to each other. From this analysis, it hopes to reach conclusions that will shed light on the China-U.S. relationship in the Middle East. Then, drawing on the conclusions reached, it offers policy recommendations on how to prevent a great power confrontation in the Middle East in order to better manage the regional peace, considering at once Beijing’s energy and Washington’s geopolitical interests. Thus, this it offers a ‘quantitative first, qualitative primary’ perspective. Qualitatively, comprehensive policy investigation, historical narrative and in-depth interviews assist the research. Quantitatively, extensive data on energy and energy related economic and military activity are analyzed.
In a nutshell, this research is comparative in its scope, focusing on China’s relations with key regional energy producers in the Greater Middle East. By incorporating a critical analysis of the recent geopolitical developments, it puts China’s growing energy dependency and engagement in the larger context of China-U.S. competition and cooperation for greater influence in the region and speculates on how this would impact the regional and global peace. More specifically, this research contributes to the existing literature by offering a comprehensive analysis on China’s energy security policy in the Middle East.
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