Rising Energy Competition and Energy Security in Northeast Asia: Issues for U.S. Policy [May 3, 2007] [open pdf - 282KB]
"Asia has become a principal driver in world energy markets, largely due to China's remarkable growth in demand. As the gap between consumption and production levels in Asia expands, the region's economic powers appear to be increasingly anxious about their energy security, concerned that tight supplies and consequent high prices may constrain economic growth. Rising energy competition in East Asia promises to affect U.S. policy in many ways, from contributing to price spikes because of China's rapidly increasing demand to altering the geostrategic landscape in the years to come as regional powers struggle to secure access to energy supplies. 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. […] Many analysts concur that it is in the interest of the United States for the governments of China, Japan, and South Korea to approach energy policy from a market perspective. They believe that if Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul instead link energy supply with overall security, the potential for conflict and instability is heightened. 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. This report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32466