chapter  1
Modelling ‘resource diplomacy’ under hegemony
The triangular nature of Sino–US energy relations 1
WithZweig David
Pages 19

This chapter traces that many of China's bilateral energy relationships are really triangular because China's resource diplomacy occurs under a unipolar system with a US hegemon. It helps us understand the US and China's efforts to enhance their own energy security and, the response of the resource rich states (RRSs) to that competition, and to project whether energy competition will lead to cooperation, competition or even conflict between the US and China. Purchasing oil and gas abroad forms only one component of energy security; and guarantees the safe delivery of energy to China. In neutral states, such as Nigeria and Angola, the US and China fill their oil tankers without bumping into each other, and extracts oil from current or new fields. China's energy partners are in three types based upon the US's perception of those states: pariahs, US allies and neutrals. RRSs deal with China largely in three ways: soft balancing, pushback or engaging in normal business relations.