Is Europe prepared for a world where Chinese and Japanese competition for Russian resources is a key geopolitical question?
For months China and Japan have been locked in a diplomatic battle over access to the big oil fields in Siberia. Japan, which depends entirely on imported oil, is desperately lobbying Moscow for a 2,300-mile pipeline from Siberia to coastal Japan. But fast-growing China, now the world’s second-largest oil user, after the United States, sees Russian oil as vital for its own “energy security” and is pushing for a 1,400-mile pipeline south to Daqing.
Emphasis added to the original article. If I had to guess, I would think that the EU-25 uses more oil, and other petroleum products, than China. I’d probably have to flip a coin to decide if the enlarged EU uses more oil than the US; I think it’s very close. (If anyone can point me to good statistics on this subject, I’d be grateful.)
Given that the bulk of Russian gas now goes west to Europe, to heat homes and, to a lesser extent, generate electricity, what are the chances that when the Chinese convert coal-fired power plants to gas-fired, Russian gas might go east, to fuel the world’s fastest-growing large economy?
Is there a European approach to this sort of question? Should there be?