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Resource Depletion in China and its Implications for Mongolia

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Frontier and Historical Perspectives

image of Inner Asia

China’s natural resources are concentrated in areas inhabited by ethnic minorities which constitute over 60 per cent of China’s territory. When world attention is drawn to China’s rapid economic development and its global energy strategy, people tend to forget how natural resources in the minority regions were extracted to fuel China’s development prior to its high growth era. In other words, who or what regions sustained China’s economy by providing energy and resources after the 1950s? We may also ask what has happened to these minority regions in China’s new energy strategy. Since these regions are frontier regions, what does China’s energy globalisation look like there?This paper studies the historical process of resource extraction in areas inhabited by the Mongols, focusing on the Daqing Oil Field and North China Oil Field. Through discussing how the depletion of oil in these traditional energy bases has led to China’s energy expansion into its northern neighbour of Mongolia, it aims to define the place and significance of Mongolia in China’s global energy strategy.

Affiliations: 1: University of Shiga


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1. Bilig B. B. Bilige Manhua 2013 Huhehaote Nei Menggu Renmin Chubanshe [B. Bilig’s Manga Drawings]
2. Borjigin B. Survey Reports on Open Mongolian Land 2014 Tokyo Kingendai Shiryo Kankoukai (compiler) part two of Compendium of Pre-1945 Japanese Language Survey Materials on Mongolian Social Relations.
3. Clarke P.N. Petroleum Prospectivity of the Mongolian People’s Republic. Report 3: Eastern Mongolia 1991 London BP Petroleum Development Ltd Exploration & International (Report of the 1990 bp/mgt Field Survey).
4. Mongolian Investor’s Forum 2002 Current Status and Prospects of Oil Resources in Mongolia. Unpublished Report
5. National Bureau of Statistics China Energy Statistical Yearbook 2004 2004 Beijing China Statistics Press
6. Shi Fu Wai Menggu Duli Neimu 1993 Beijing Renmin Zhongguo Chubanshe [The Inside Story of Outer Mongolia’s Independence].

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