China Engages in Energy Diplomacy China's President Hu Jintao has been engaging in talks aimed at securing energy for China. He has lobbied Saudi Arabia to help China build a strategic oil reserve, and signed a deal with Nigeria giving Beijing drilling rights in exchange for infrastructure investment.
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China Engages in Energy Diplomacy

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China Engages in Energy Diplomacy

China Engages in Energy Diplomacy

China Engages in Energy Diplomacy

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China's President Hu Jintao has been engaging in talks aimed at securing energy for China. He has lobbied Saudi Arabia to help China build a strategic oil reserve, and signed a deal with Nigeria giving Beijing drilling rights in exchange for infrastructure investment.

JOHN YDSTIE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm John Ydstie.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing.

ANTHONY KUHN: That sensitivity became obvious last Thursday when Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang fielded a question about China's ties with Sudan and human rights abuses there.

QIN GANG: (Foreign spoken)

KUHN: Wu predicts that China will eventually have to address other countries' concerns about which countries it gets its oil from.

WU LEE: (Through translator) China's energy diplomacy has not factored in certain issues such as human rights, justice and ethics. I believe this is a shortcoming. The policies are not perfect and need to be perfected. This problem reflects a sense of urgency China feels about its energy diplomacy.

KUHN: Professor Wu says China is also anxious about the fact that 90 percent of its oil imports come in by sea.

LEE: (Through translator) China's oil security is highly dependent on American protection. China does not have the means to maintain stability in the Middle East, or to keep sea lanes open for shipping. If the U.S. and China come into conflict, China's oil supply may be cut off.

KUHN: Mikkal Herberg is an expert on China's energy policy at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle.

MIKKAL HERBERG: The irony is, is that China and the U.S. are now in the same boat, as China becomes a major oil importer, dependent on imported oil. We all have a mutual interest in the free flow of oil supplies, and most importantly on reducing the environmental fallout from this massive growing consumption of fossil fuels.

KUHN: Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Beijing.

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