Why would China want to control oil when we'll just sell it?

The New York Times has a good article today looking at CNOOC's attempt to buy Unocal from the strategic perspective of China: "China's Costly Quest for Energy Control". Unlike most of the other stuff written on this, reporter Joseph Kahn takes seriously the idea that the Chinese might have their own desires and interests, and that we might want to think about those instead of just the threat China poses to our clearly entirely-deserved global hegemony.

While making a big point of the fact that China is paying a lot of extra money to secure control over oil reserves rather than just buying on the open market, Kahn balances this by explaining exactly how threatened China feels by the USA's tight and expanding grip on world energy supplies. And he doesn't just dismiss these fears as paranoia. A great quote from a Chinese energy consultant explains it all: "A popular saying abroad is that oil is just a commodity that anyone who has money can buy. But this saying is most popular in the countries that already control the supplies."


小霖 said...


Chris said...

how about some summer blogging now that you're back stateside? i'm sure we'd all like to hear your take on the scuttling of the unocal deal. i was going to write something on that but i couldn't get to the tribune article with all the hilarious quotes from congress online.