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Growing energy moves by China anger US
Updated: 2005-09-07 10:58

China became the world's third largest importer of oil in 2003. It sought energy and mineral deals with Iran, whom the United States and Europe accuse of pursuing nuclear weapons, with Sudan, whom U.S. and others accuses of human rights abuse in its Darfur region, and Venezuela, which has allied with Cuba, a U.S. adversary.

Zoellick said he told Chinese officials that from a U.S. perspective "it looked like Chinese companies had been unleashed to try to lock up energy resources."

He warned that Beijing's ties to what the United States considered troublesome states -- the list also included Myanmar and Zimbabwe -- were "going to have repercussions elsewhere" and the Chinese would have to decide if they wanted to pay the price.

China must choose whether to work with the United States to ameliorate problems posed by these states, or whether it "want(ed) to be against us and perhaps others in the international system as well," Zoellick was quoted as saying.

The State Department's former chief China official, Randall Schriver, told Reuters last week he feared the two powers were on a "collision course" over the ties Beijing is forging with those “problematic countries” in its search for energy to feed its growing economy.

China’s CNOOC Ltd this year made a bid for a U.S.-owned oil company but withdrew after a torrent of criticism from the U.S. Congress. Many Chinese online readers chided the U.S. political interference which nipped an otherwise normal business dealing.

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