Energy and Security in a Changing World

Sudha Mahalingam was a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • April 2004

    The centre of gravity of global economic growth is rapidly shifting to the Asian continent. The transition is led by China and India which have propelled themselves onto a robust growth trajectory to be fuelled by affordable energy supplies. These developments have been accompanied by a fortuitous but significant growth in the sources of global energy supply, thanks to the re-emergence of Russia as the new petrostate and the discovery of substantial energy deposits in the Caspian and Central Asian Republics. This, coupled with the resolve of the United States to move away from excessive reliance on Middle East oil and the increasing importance of gas as the preferred fuel in a post-Kyoto world, foretell significant realignments in global energy relationships. Regional energy alliances are set to acquire a salience hitherto unknown.
    This paper discusses the possible energy relationships that might emerge in the Asian region with particular reference to China and India. Part I introduces the context. Part II briefly outlines the magnitude of energy import dependence of the two Asian giants. Part III discusses the possible supply sources for the Asian region and potential energy alignments that might make this a reality. Part IV is a brief summary of the conclusions.

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