China’s Energy Security Strategy: Implications for the Future Sino-U.S. Relations

Yong Soo Park


This study considers the implications of China’s energy security strategy for the future Sino-U.S. relations. Being the world’s largest energy consumer, the second largest oil consumer and importer, China has pursued its own energy security strategy since the late 1990s in earnest. In the process of procuring overseas energy resources, however, China has increasingly inclined towards mercantilism, posing a greater threat for the United States. Increasingly concerned about China’s overseas energy procurement, the U.S. has reinforced its efforts to block overseas ventures by China’s national oil companies (NOCs), thus fueling to the Sino-U.S. conflict around energy procurement. Given the ongoing tension and feud around this issue, it is doubtful that the apparently peaceful relations between China and the U.S. will continue in the future. If China’s economic growth and the growth of its energy demands lead to the increase of its defense capabilities, this might be seen as a challenge to the military hegemony of the United States. If this happens, a conflict between the two countries will be inevitable, as evidenced by the history of the past 100 years which shows that the nation states have been inclined to rely on realist competition and conflict rather than liberalist cooperation and peaceful coexistence when it comes to energy procurement.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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