June 27, 2005
China's thirst for energy has been a major factor driving up the international price of oil and China's takeover bid for Unocal Corporation makes it clear to Americans that the 1.3 billion Chinese people are demanding an ever-larger supply of the world's energy to fuel their booming economy and will get it wherever necessary, according to a story reported today by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Chinese firms are pumping oil and natural gas in many areas that the United States was counting on to meet its own record-high demand.
While China's supply network
does not yet rival the global clout of U.S.-based oil corporations,
the shift raises concerns of politicians and analysts in the
United States and Southeast Asia who see China as a future global
giant motivated by the same powerful self-interest as American
While the Bush administration tries to build international pressure against Iran over its nuclear aspirations, China has signed a $70 billion long-term oil and gas supply deal with the Tehran government. China has also signed agreements to develop heavy oil reserves in Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez has emerged as one of Washington's most vocal opponents.
Even in Canada, the top U.S. oil supplier, Chinese firms have signed three deals this year to tap Alberta's vast oil-sands reserves and to join a pipeline venture to bring crude to the Pacific coast, where it can be shipped to China.
Even close allies of Beijing throughout East Asia are showing nervousness about China's energy appetites reports the SFC.
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