Rising Energy Competition and Energy Security in Northeast Asia: Issues for U.S. Policy [Updated May 13, 2008]   [open pdf - 522KB]

This CRS report addresses two critical global issues that have major policy implications for the United States-"rising energy competition and energy security in Northeast Asia." More specifically, "this report analyzes how China, Japan, and South Korea's pursuits to bolster their energy security impacts U.S. interests. It also examines decisions being made by Asian states now that will significantly shape global affairs in the future, how these decisions might play out, and how Congress and the executive branch might play a role in those decisions." Secondly, "China, Japan, and South Korea have been moving aggressively to shore up partnerships with existing suppliers and pursue new energy investments overseas, often downplaying doubts about the technical feasibility and economic profitability of new development. Their outreach to suppliers includes the development of close ties with Iran, a key concern to U.S. policymakers given skepticism about Tehran's nuclear program. This report outlines the energy portfolios and strategies of the three countries, including their pursuit of alternatives to petroleum." Also, "the possible implications of the surge in energy competition are wide-ranging, from provoking military conflict to spurring unprecedented regional cooperation." These implications could greatly affect the U.S. alliances with the Asian powers. Finally, "the report concludes with a number of options, including those that U.S. policymakers might pursue to encourage a trend towards cooperation and the depoliticization of energy policy."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32466
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