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Chapter Summary

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.



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