China’s Provocative “Zero Sum” Oil-Supply Game

With its overriding goal of securing oil and gas to fuel China’s economic growth, the Chinese government has actively cultivated its relations with the oil-rich Middle East, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia. In their dogged pursuit of this goal, Chinese policymakers have been more than willing not only to undercut U.S. [nuclear] nonproliferation efforts but also to work closely with governments that export Islamic [terrorism].

—Dan Blumenthal, Middle East Quarterly

How has China sought to strategically address its oil-security fears? At the heart of its hard-edged strategy is a “zero sum” approach that is radically different from that of the United States. Whereas the United States focuses on ensuring ...

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