This chapter focuses on China’s search for energy security, especially in the oil and gas sector, and on the impact of this search on China’s relations with the European Union (EU). It places the Chinese energy security strategy within the context of the country’s economic reform program by examining the political dynamics behind developments in the energy sector. The study outlines some key initiatives China has taken to ensure regular and cost-effective oil and gas supplies. It surveys China’s energy security policy and the institutional structure which supports it. China’s search for energy security has led the PRC to develop closer political and military ties with a number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia; Chinese state-owned oil and gas companies have invested billions of dollars in the development of energy assets there. These efforts have been backed up by Chinese civilian and military aid flows to some strife-torn countries in Africa. This is seen by many European politicians and EU officials as ‘undermining’ their efforts to improve quality of governance and respect for human rights in those countries. This chapter examines the differences between the European Union and China over the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, a country in which China has made significant investments in nearly all aspects of the oil industry.
This volume brings together the best of contemporary critical analysis of EU-China relations, offered here by an international team of policy analysts, academics and practitioners. The fifteen chapters assembled in this book represent a wide-ranging investigation of the development and framework of EU-China relations and its wider geo-political context. This includes an examination of key areas of concern, such as human rights, economic cooperation, energy security, sports, maritime safety and media policy. Many aspects of EU-China relations covered in this title have, until now, not been available for systematic scrutiny by a wider public. Importantly, this collection presents an examination of the significance of China’s relations with selected global partners – such as the US, Russia, India and Central Asia – for the further evolution of Sino-EU interaction. It should be read by anyone interested in EU foreign policies, the future of China-EU strategic partnership, China’s place in the world, and the development of a multi-polar world order.