China's Energy Security and Its Military Modernization Efforts: How China Plans to Dominate the World [open pdf - 288KB]
From the thesis abstract: "This report examines China's increasing demand for energy and how that demand has the potential to threaten the stability of China's Communist Party regime. It illustrates that China's demand for energy will continue to grow and that China will become increasingly reliant on oil imports to meet its energy needs. This reliance on oil imports has forced China, in the short term to adopt an energy security strategy that seeks to protect its access to oil by adopting a non-threatening military posture complemented by use of its economic bargaining power. At the same time, China has adopted a long range strategy, that runs side-by-side with the short-term strategy, of 'Bide our time and build up our capabilities.' This long-term strategy consists of a 'String of Pearls' approach to gain the necessary forward bases to secure its energy lifeline and the development of asymmetric military capabilities. The ultimate goal of this long-term strategy is to develop sufficient military capability to challenge the West and achieve great power status."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/