Cooperation on energy imports, trade can build stronger ties between China and US

By Wang Jiamei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/5/15 22:41:47

As China is looking to the US in its efforts to seek more diversified sources of energy imports, the two countries are likely to further enhance their economic and trade relations.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country's largest oil and gas producer by output, will increase its imports of crude oil and natural gas from the US, according to media reports, citing CNPC Chairman Wang Yilin.

"The US has very rich oil and gas resources, and as China pursues a diversification of its crude supply the US will of course be one of the sources," Wang was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. He also mentioned that CNPC is considering cooperation in the US liquefied natural gas industry.

Moreover, CNPC was scheduled to ink deals worth $20 billion during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, involving a refinery in Yunnan Province with Saudi Arabian Oil Co, a $4 billion agreement for a natural gas project in Azerbaijan with the State Oil Co of Azerbaijan, gas-fired power projects with Russia's Gazprom PJSC and a geothermal project in Kenya, according to Bloomberg.

To a large extent, Wang's comments reflected China's growing attention to its energy security issue. As the largest energy-consuming country in the world, China has become increasingly reliant on energy imports, highlighting the need to seek diversification in terms of both suppliers and types. Such a strategy will be crucial for the country to ensure that it is capable of coping with potential risks in energy supply.

On the other hand, the US could serve as a good energy partner for China, especially after the two countries just released details of a trade deal last week that will allow Chinese companies to import more liquefied natural gas from the US. The deal, which will help the US reduce its trade deficit with China, was one of the bilateral trade agreements the two countries reached as part of efforts to implement pragmatic cooperation to address their trade imbalances.

With China seeking a diversification of its energy supply and the US trying to lower its trade deficit with China, it will be a win-win for both sides to tighten their energy cooperation, further boosting trade ties in the process.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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