China’s reliance on Middle East oil, gas to rise sharply

China has long relied on the Middle East to secure much of the oil needed to fuel its rapid economic development. Now Chinese President Xi Jinping wishes to create an “ecological civilization” that relies less on fossil fuels and more on renewable energy.

As the world’s largest oil importer seeks to become greener and more self-reliant, one might expect a shift in its attention and capital. The reality, however, is not that simple. 

A growing interdependence 

Since China became a net importer of oil in 1993, the Middle East has emerged as an increasingly important source of this critical commodity. By the time China surpassed the US as the largest importer of crude oil in 2017, almost half its supply originated from this troubled region.

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