#25 – Craving for Power: Energy and Security in China

event #25
April, 30 2013

Prof. Dr. Jørgen Delman
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (TORS), Copenhagen University

DENG Liangchun 邓梁春
Senior Programme Officer, Climate and Energy Programme, WWF China


Professor Delman will discuss how China’s energy security is challenged by its need for increasing amounts of energy from outside China. This is particularly true for oil, but also partly for gas. The talk focuses on what China does and can do itself to secure adequate energy supplies. While energy security is not threatened at this stage, China’s position in the international energy markets may be at risk. This is due to potential instability in the countries and regions from which resources are imported. Conflicts with some of the supplier countries and with neighboring countries about contested territorial waters are not unlikely either. Potential conflicts within supplier regions and possible clashes with the US with regard to safe passage through critical sea transport lanes must also be factored in.
However, China does have tools at hand to tackle temporary disturbances and even longer term energy security challenges without using military force. During the coming years, China will likely build on its current efforts at creating a stable international environment through strengthening both its energy diplomacy and its general diplomacy. It will also pursue trust enhancing initiatives in order to signal to the world that it is a constructive player and not an adversary or a hegemon in disguise in the world energy market. Otherwise it would be difficult to guarantee its energy security without becoming engaged in military conflict.

Speaker Biographies

Professor Dr. Jørgen Delman has been working with China for more than 35 years, and he joins the China Studies group after more than 7 years as Director at NIAS Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.
Jørgen Delman’s research has concentrated on development dynamics in modern China. His primary focus has been on the relationship between China’s party-state and the organization of civil society, for many years the relationship between party-state and peasants/farmers and in recent years the interaction between the party-state and private business. He has worked with different sectors as cases, primarily agriculture and food and recently renewable energy. His work has been driven by a strong interest in innovation in China. Jørgen Delman has arranged a series of international conferences and he is an experienced public speaker on Chinese issues and often appears in the media.
Jørgen Delman has lived and worked in China for 10 years, first as a student from 1977-1978 at the end of the Cultural Revolution when China’s reforms were about to start. Along his carrier, he worked in over a dozen countries in Asia and Africa for UN and EU development programs as well as private companies. Throughout most of his career, Jørgen Delman has worked as project Director and/or team leader on a considerable number of international development projects as well as on research projects and policy studies. He also holds a number of positions of trust in the academic world. He took his PhD degree in Chinese at the Institute of East Asian Studies, Aarhus University, in 1991 and his Masters degree at the same place in 1979.

DENG Liangchun is Senior Policy Program Manager of The Climate Group at WWF. His research focuses on climate change, China’s strategy in the international climate regime and low carbon economy. He leads China’s policy briefings and related communication and strategic engagement works an is also in charge of the Pearl River Delta low carbon transition pilot project. DENG Liangchun is the leading author of TCG quarterly publication Climate Change Perspective, and one of the authors of the CAS report China’s Approach towards a Low Carbon Future. He works as consultant for Chinese and Foreign insitutions active in the areas of environmental protection and energy security, such as the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), an advisory body for the Chinese national government. He completed his undergraduate study at Fudan University and holds an MA in Environmental Economics and Policy from Peking University.

flyer event 25