The International Herald Leader recently published an article that suggested that the United States holds an “energy card” in its hands that it can play against China. Not long ago, the U.S. offered China relief from a sanction applying to any country that buys oil from Iran. However the relief is only effective for 6 months. The article expressed the belief that it is unfair for the U.S. to tell China which country China can buy oil from. However, the author admitted that the U.S. has 3 “energy advantages”: (1) China relies significantly more on Middle East oil than the United States does; (2) The U.S. has many more ways to influence the international oil price than China has; (3) The U.S. has a large degree of energy independence, while China is now the world’s biggest importer of energy. The article concluded by calling for serious consideration of the “worst case scenario,” which is that the U.S. can play the energy card to strategically suppress China.
Source: International Herald Leader, July 10, 2012