China’s New Energy Security: A Swing of the Pendulum

  • Guy C. K. LeungEmail author
  • Raymond Li
  • Maximilian Kuhn
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 16)



The aim of this paper is to understand and investigate the context of energy security in China.


The study was conducted by analyzing and synthesizing the domestic and international literature on China’s energy security, including government documents.


The findings reveal that Chinese national leaders have overestimated the external threats of energy security challenges and the actual effectiveness of certain external energy security measures, such as acquisition of foreign equity energy assets and establishment of international pipelines. On the other hand, the internal energy security challenges appear to be more visible and evident but have received disproportionally little attention from Chinese energy leaders.

Practical Implications

The conclusions call for a swing of the analytical pendulum—a shift from the narrow understanding that paint “energy security” and “security of oil imports” with the same brush to the broader understanding that “energy security” that takes into account both internal and external challenges.


The paper provides a more reasonable theorization of China’s energy security.


China Energy security Oil Coal Gas Environment Pollution Climate change Power shortage 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy C. K. Leung
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raymond Li
    • 2
  • Maximilian Kuhn
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Environment and DevelopmentUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.School of Accounting and FinanceThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  3. 3.Department of War Studies, European Centre for Energy and Resource SecurityKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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