Home>News Center>China

Asian nations vow to meet oil needs
By Hu Qihua (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-22 00:11

Alarmed by soaring crude oil prices, 22 Asian oil-consuming countries are planning to issue a joint-declaration on long-term policies and strategies to guarantee Asian energy supplies at a high-level meeting in Qingdao.

Leading the agenda for high-dialogue among the countries at the Asia Co-operation Dialogue (ACD) will be the looming energy issue now threatening the region's sustained economic growth and modest recovery, Long Yongtu, Chinese former chief trade negotiator, said on the eve of the third ACD Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

The meeting scheduled to open today is set to issue a key document, or the Qingdao Initiative, centring on energy co-operation among Asian countries.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Mian Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said the initiative will be an "important step forward" in energy security in the region.

Asian consumers are worried about disruptions of oil supplies from the Middle East, which provides more than 70 per cent of the region's imports.

The ACD countries are proposing to establish an energy forum to regularly discuss key energy aspects, such as developing better energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, alternative fuels and improved energy infrastructure networks.

The ACD Foreign Ministers' Meeting is an informal, non-institutionalized forum for dialogue and consultations, established two years ago, based on the awareness that a co-operative body for comprehensive co-operation is needed for Asia, including East Asia and West Asia.

Analysts said that a sound political atmosphere among Asian countries provides beneficial conditions for establishing energy co-operative networks.

Han Wenke, deputy director of the Energy Research Institute with the National Development and Reform Commission, told China Daily that energy co-operation has become a new driving force behind economic and trade exchanges in the region as countries increasingly become more dependent on petroleum resources from outside areas.

Han said there has been a number of bilateral and multilateral gatherings to discuss plans for connecting potential power demands and supplies among the countries in the region.

"Although many projects are still in their conceptual stages, Asian countries have more and more recognized the urgency for establishing an organizational structure for co-operation in the power sector," Han further emphasized.

Another important message that the Qingdao Initiative wants to send to the world is the common motivation for these countries to improve their level of competitiveness by "forging closer energy partnerships in Asia," said Han.

For China, the second largest oil importer in the world last year after the United States, expanding regional co-operation is an essential part of its long-term energy strategy, he said.

Many delegates who will attend today's meeting have demonstrated a strong interest in expanding energy co-operation with China.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev said Monday that his country gives priority to developing energy co-operation with China.

China and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on building a 3,000-kilometre-long pipeline between the two countries in 1997. The western route of the pipeline has been put into use with a length of 448 kilometres, and the eastern route from Atasu to Dushanzi in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is expected to begin construction this year.

Meanwhile, Han said Asian nations have seen the necessity to establish a network among themselves to allow timely information-sharing in response to emergencies, adding that information-sharing such as release of stockpiles and consumption restraints through the network will contribute to the stability of the regional energy market.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

NPC weighs momentous new bankruptcy law



Chinese furniture makers protest US duties



46 killed in attacks on Russia government



Asian nations vow to meet oil needs



FM sets up new branch to enhance security



Iran to prosecute British Navy sailors


  Wen makes 5 proposals for Asian cooperation
  Official commits suicide for milk powder scandal
  30,000 doctorate graduates join job hunting
  Thailand concedes China `market economy' status
  Pro-independence investors not welcome
  Temple fire a warning call
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?