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Why China s Thirst for Energy does not Trigger Resource Wars


  • Maximilian Mayer


The realistic notion of great power competition over shrinking oil reserves seems to fit in the patterns of China s oil diplomacy. Indeed, many pundits and politicians in Washington and elsewhere are stoking fears about the worldwide implications of China s insatiable demand for energy . In this paper, it will be argued that this view is not able to grasp the complexity of the international energy economy. It cannot provide sufficient explanations why cooperation and confrontation among China and its potential great power rivals exists in parallel. Rather the perception of the other nation s intentions and the world energy economy seems to cause both conflict and cooperation. Furthermore, the analysis shows that China s international energy policy clearly follows cooperative and market oriented lines. In order to further understand and explain China s international energy policy, alternative theoretical frameworks, beyond realism, need to be applied.

Suggested Citation

  • Maximilian Mayer, 2007. "Why China s Thirst for Energy does not Trigger Resource Wars," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 36(1), pages 57-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:36:y:2007:i:1:p:57-75

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