Russian and Chinese oil and gas policies in Northeast Asia : international political consequences and implications
This study examines the international political dimensions of Russian and Chinese oil and gas policies in Northeast Asia. It compares former Soviet and Chinese oil and gas policies, and examines the linkage between Russian and Chinese hydrocarbon industries' problems and their moves into frontier areas. The aim is to explore the two states' future policies for the area. The study analyses the consequences and implications of Russian and Chinese oil and gas policies in Northeast Asia. Looking at the directions of Russian and Chinese policies for Northeast Asia in the 1990s, hypotheses are drawn about: the future stance of Russia and China regarding their oil and gas policies; the international political consequences of these; the possibility of an Energy Regime integrating Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, USA, and the two Koreas; the basis and time scale thereof; and the implications of different levels of Russian and Chinese hydrocarbon exports for their political relationships with the countries of Northeast Asia. As a conclusion, in the 1990s Russia and China seem to have no choice but to pursue very positive oil and gas policies due to the urgency of both countries' frontier oil and gas development, but an invisible competition between Russia and China to attract foreign investment looks highly likely. However, if new links established in Northeast Asia in the wake of the Cold War's demise can be developed into multilateral energy cooperation through an establishment of Northeast Asian Energy Regime, it will not only help both countries' frontier oil and gas and eventually economic development but also make a substantial contribution to the neighbouring countries' energy diversification and the region's balanced economic development.