Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Another great study by the US Naval War College folks

Andrew Erickson and Lyle Goldstein's "Gunboats for China's New "Grand Canals"? Probing the Intersection of Beijing's Naval and Oil Security Policies" is out, go check it out. Click (Here) to download the PDF.

This excellence study offers a grand-view on China not just from the prism of oil/energy security, but more importantly, an examination on what possible directions China is going to use her found naval power and ways to build cooperation between the two nations and their navies.

It is a timely release, consider the recent geopolitical nature of the Feb 2009 Sino-Russian Siberia pipeline which developed into a full zero-sum energy game between China and Japan (Here is a good 2005 NYT write up). However, the other recent major oil deals seems to has less of a political overtone; as others have noted, China has been using China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), Sinopec and other Chinese "companies" to inject funds to the struggling foreign oil companies instead of buying the ownership rights to those fields. The case of the 8 Billion joint venture with Venezuela’s PDVSA, China Development Banks’ 10 Billion loan to Brazil, and the March 15th 3 billion to develop Iran’s long delayed South Pars gas field can serve as good examples. This new involvement approach is welcomed by struggling oil companies according to Philip Andrews-Speed and help to reduced some of the local nationalistic backlash against the fear of a Chinese "take-over"

Also, China seems to stay way from the political sensitive Cuban and Mexico offshore oil fields so far which suggests they still enjoy protections offered by the USN and
the recent much cited example of the anti-piracy deployment to Gulf of Aden (Erickson also wrote an other good article on this very topic) suggests in the area of MOOTW, there is much room for cooperation. In that light, I shared Erickson and Goldstein's suggestions of look ways to "integrate China into a global security architecture". Heck, we need it after the recent dog-and-pony show in South China Sea.

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