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An Agenda for U.S.–China Oil and Gas Dialogue and Cooperation1

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The United States is becoming more oil and gas secure, and China is becoming less oil and gas secure. This evolution will profoundly impact U.S.–China relations. While oil and gas should become less of a destabilizing factor in U.S.–China relations, more of the global tension associated with it will shift to China and its relations with other states. However, even with less U.S.–China competition for oil and gas, each side may still seek to engage in actions incompatible with the other's perceived national interest. If the United States were to try to aggressively exploit its new position or if China were to pursue a second, more intense round of its “going out” strategy, the consequences for both sides could be very negative. Accordingly, it would be preferable if each side worked to find ways to turn what often has been understood as a zero-sum competition into a positive-sum opportunity for both. Despite a major obstacle to such cooperation, several potential areas for mutually beneficial engagement exist and are outlined in this article.
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Keywords: China; Russia; corruption; energy security; international investment; natural gas; oil; petroleum

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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