China’s Energy Strategy?

China is worth thinking about as we consider our energy and deficit-reduction plans.

China needs more energy as it strives to modernize the country. It’s buying resources around the world: in Canada, in Asia and in Africa. Of potential military concern, China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea in search of energy resources.

The South China Sea extends from Taiwan in the North, to Borneo in the South, and to the Philippines in the East. It also borders on Viet Nam and Malaysia. Its total area is 1.3 million square miles, about one third larger than the Caribbean.

The South China Sea contains large resources of oil and natural gas.

China has long considered the South China Sea as one of the “near seas” which form a core strategic interest.

Quoting from a US Naval Institute article, “In the 1930s China’s Republican government formed the Land and Water Maps Inspection Committee. … The committee reported in 1935 that in the South China Sea, China’s southernmost territorial feature is the James Bank, which sits about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Borneo, and that China’s maritime boundary should therefore extend south to 4 degrees North latitude. By 1947, the government of the Republic of China began to publish maps with a U-shaped series of lines in the South China Sea to delineate its maritime boundaries.

“The Chinese government repeated this cartographic feature after the Communist party came to power on the mainland in 1949, and today it remains depicted on every map published in China and Taiwan.”

China has said that each of these rocks, reefs and small islands are a part of China and that the 200-mile area surrounding them is part of China’s exclusive economic zone.

All the countries bordering on the South China Sea have some type of claim with respect to territory, oil and natural gas in the South China Sea.

China has repeatedly interfered with Vietnamese exploration, including exploration proposed by Exxon Mobile.

As recently as May of this year, China was accused by Viet Nam of sabotaging a Vietnamese research vessel.

While it’s absolutely essential that we eliminate our deficit and cut expenses, we must wonder how much to cut defense spending if we are to maintain our commitment to our allies in Asia.

And while this administration is trying to force us to curtail the use of fossil fuels, China is dramatically increasing its use of fossil fuels.

Our CO 2 emissions in 2006 were around 6,000 million metric tons, while China’s were about the same. But in 2010, ours were reduced slightly, due largely to the recession, while China’s CO2 emissions increased to nearly 8,000 million metric tons.

This raises the question: Why are we cutting CO2 emissions and hurting our economy, while China continues to increase its use of fossil fuels?

Our reductions in CO2 emissions are more than offset by increases in China, without considering the increases in India.

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