Given the projected robust growth in China's oil consumption over the next few decades, it will increasingly view the Middle East as a cornerstone of its energy security interests. The fact that China is now an aggressive player in the quest for global energy supplies has caused concern in the West, which worries that China seeks to challenge the United States' dominant security role in the Middle East. Is conflict between the U.S. and China over Middle Eastern energy resources inevitable?

West Must Learn to Manage China's Growing Middle East Influence

By , , Briefing

In a recent announcement that went virtually unnoticed in the Western media, an official of Saudi Aramco -- Saudi Arabia's national oil company -- stated that Saudi Arabia aims to double its oil exports to China from last year's levels, reaching 1 million barrels per day by 2010. Should this goal be realized, China will soon rival the United States and Japan as one of the top destinations for Saudi petroleum.

In addition, the China National Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) already has an agreement with Iran to buy 250 million tons of liquid natural gas from the country over 30 years, and to develop the Yadavaran oil field, which could yield up to 150,000 barrels per day over 25 years. ...

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