Transnational Pipelines and Naval Expansion: Examining China's Oil Insecurities in the Indian Ocean   [open pdf - 658KB]

"This thesis compares two potential energy security strategies in the context of Beijing's perceived vulnerabilities associated with oil imports from Africa and the Arabian Gulf. The first strategy focuses on the diversification of energy import routes through the development of Pakistani and Burmese transnational pipelines. These pipelines would arguably strengthen China's energy security by reducing the ability of foreign powers to threaten China's oil sea-lines-of-communication (SLOCs) from Africa and the Arabian Gulf. The second strategy considers developing a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) force strength capable of protecting China-bound energy SLOCs in the Indian Ocean. The overall objective of this thesis is to explore and assess the feasibility of these two energy security alternatives to determine what path, if any, proves more attractive to Beijing. As this thesis argues, both strategies prove ineffective at addressing Beijing's energy insecurities in the Indian Ocean. Yet the author submits that Beijing will still pursue these strategies for reasons of economic benefit, political stability, regional development, and national pride. In the end, Beijing's energy security does not result from transnational pipelines or strong naval capabilities, but rather, the ability to act as a responsible player on the global stage."

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