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• Oil-Hungry China Seeks New Ways to Satiate Its Appetite
• The Pentagon Calls China its Biggest Military Rival

Oil-Hungry China Seeks New Ways to Satiate Its Appetite

2-5: The Chinese government has sought to diversify its oil resources to support its burgeoning economy. Soaring global economic growth, particularly in China, is one of the factors driving oil prices up. China, as one of the world's largest oil importers, is looking for ways to create a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly society, according to President Hu Jintao.

To solidify its holdings on oil resources, a Chinese firm invested $2.3 billion in a Nigerian oil field last month. Many Chinese firms are buying stakes in oil fields in foreign countries like Australia and Venezuela. This growing dependency on foreign oil worries Chinese leaders. Historically, foreign imports are often subject to interruption from international conflict. This was the case in 2003 when the U.S. invaded Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Prior to this invasion, China had signed a $1.2 billion oil field deal with an Iraqi state firm.

The government has also tried to discourage imports by getting oil from domestic wells. This strategy has only had limited success with 2005 imports falling by 5%. At the same time, the Chinese government is looking to alternative energies such as nuclear power, wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, etc.

The Pentagon Calls China its Biggest Military Rival

2-9: Pentagon officials say that China may be gearing up in preparation for an offensive military strategy over its clash with Taiwan. It's estimated that China has set up 700 or more short-range ballistic missiles across the 100-mile Taiwan Strait. Such a maneuver could be decisively fast enough to disarm Taiwan before any other major world powers could step in.

In April 2000, President Bush declared that it would defend Taiwan if it was attacked. The more prevalent policy that Washington promotes is for Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian not to instigate Beijing. Washington views China as its leading military opponent, a title to which China has officially objected. Regardless of Chinese assurances, the U.S. will focus on R&D for long range missiles and a great presence in the Pacific.

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