Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


strategic energy; security degree; security risk; prevention and control countermeasures; Central Asia

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The Central Asia is the strategic hubs for the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the enrichment zone for strategic energy resources, and one of the key areas for superpower competition and political game. It is also the nearest base for China's strategic energy priority protection. The development and utilization of strategic energy resources (oil, natural gas, and uranium) in Central Asia are characterized by "two large and two small" features, which means large reserves, small volumes, large volume of exports, and small volume of self-consumption. The security degree of the cooperative development and utilization of these energy resources for China varies greatly. Research shows that China's external dependence of oil, natural gas, and uranium deposits are estimated to reach 80%, 55%, and 70% in 2030, respectively, which the exports of the Central Asia's oil, natural gas, and uranium deposits to China are 7.9%, 40.7%, and about 65% in the same period, respectively. Due to the combined influence of politics, economy, policies, laws, and socio-culture in Central Asia, the legal, economic, social, political, and infrastructural risks facing China's and Central Asia's cooperation in the development and utilization of strategic energy resources cannot be underestimated. Among them, the legal risk belongs to the highest risk, the economic risk belongs to the higher risk, while the social risk and the political risk belong to the general risk. China's cooperation with Central Asia to develop strategic energy resources must always guard against risks. Firstly, from the perspective of defusing risks, enhancing cooperation, and achieving mutual benefits, the role of the government needs to be clearly defined and policy communication needs to be guaranteed, while a strategic energy development coordinating committee at the Deputy Prime Minister level is also necessary to be established. Secondly, promote the establishment of China-Central Asia Energy Free Trade Zone and take the advantage of geographical location. Thirdly, strengthen the construction of a strategic transport corridor for energy development between China and Central Asia through the improvement of infrastructure. Fourthly, establish a strategic reserve system for energy resources, and establish a national strategic energy joint reserve system. Last but not least, strengthen humanistic cooperation and promote the people connected to reduce the risk of strategic energy resources cooperation.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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