A history lesson

A recipe for conflict:

Almost all of China’s energy imports are obtained through sea and it is worried the United States could hold its oil supply hostage. 

[...] “A focus of Chinese concern has been on the security — or, more properly, the insecurity — of the sea lines of communication upon which almost all of China’s energy imports travel,” said Daniel Blumenthal, a former senior Pentagon official eyeing China’s growing military might.

China’s strategists, he said, were aware Beijing did not exercise naval superiority through the seas linking its ports to the major oil producers in the Middle East.

They also know that China was dependent upon the United States and other major powers on ensuring the safe flow of its energy imports, he said.

“If China truly does not trust the US and its allies to provide for the security of the SLOCs (sea lines of communication) and is too suspicious to join in common efforts over the long term, it must develop the military capabilities to challenge them,” Blumenthal said.

Remember 1941? Paranoia on the side of Chinese military strategists, coupled with China’s growing oil dependence does not bode well.

All the more reason to work with China on something all the globe’s large energy consumers can agree on: reducing dependence on foreign oil.

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Further reading on China’s posture:

Army War College paper by Commander Jim Cooney: Chinese Oil Dependence: Opportunities and Challenges

Further reading on maritime security as it relates to energy transport: 

Foreign Affairs article by Gal Luft and Anne Korin:  Terrorism Goes to Sea

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