With revolutionary shale gas and shale oil technologies, the US is, as President Obama said in his State of the Union address in January 2014, closer to energy independence than ever. How such independence affects China has been a popular issue for studies in China in recent years. The assessment of the impact of the US energy independence on China is characterized with a strong sense of uncertainty, vulnerability and insecurity.
China states three main goals in its energy policy: security, efficiency, and environmental protection, with energy security being the top priority. In the Chinese lexicon, energy security first and most importantly means the secure and uninterrupted supply and transportation of foreign energy resources back to China. According torecent studies by the State Council, by 2030, China will import about 75 percent of the 800 million tons of its annual domestic oil consumption. How to secure the stable and constant supplies of such a large volume, diversify the sources to mitigate vulnerability, and ensure their safe transportation back home has become a serious challenge for China. China’s insatiable need for energy security is the primary motivation for its fervent global acquisitions of energy assets and development of pipelines with Russia, Central Asia, and Myanmar in recent years. Since 2009, Chinese oil companies have spent more than $100 billion on oil and gas assets to boost imports.
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