China’s reliance on oil imports fuels geopolitical tensionsFebruary 4, 2013
China’s reliance on oil and gas imports has been rising, forcing the country to scramble for control over overseas oil businesses and possibly heightening tensions in the Middle East.
The country’s dependence on oil imports shot up to 58% in 2012, with a total of 284 million metric tons imported that year. Its dependence on natural gas imports has also jumped on an annual basis from 2006 to the current 29%.
The reliance on imported oil and gas is projected to rise further to 59.4% and 32%, respectively, this year, according to a recent report issued by the Economics & Development Research Institute under state oil giant Sinopec.
This growing dependence could prompt China to risk war and conflict by getting involved in a battle for control of energy-related businesses in countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Algeria.