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China and the Energy Equation in Asia: The Determinants of Policy Choice

Jean A. Garrison
China and the Energy Equation in Asia: The Determinants of Policy Choice
ISBN: 978-1-935049-05-0
2009/187 pages/LC: 2009002502
A FirstForumPress Book
"A highly readable overview of what China has been doing in Asia to safeguard its energy security, what alternative energy options [it] has been pursuing to reduce its reliance on imported oil, and why it is difficult for China to shift rapidly to green development given its multi-faceted and fragmented interests in energy policymaking."—Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, China Review International

"Will be important to all those who want to learn how political decisions are made in China. In addition ... the book serves as an excellent introductory reader to the making of Chinese energy policy."—Oliver Hensengerth, International Affairs

"Garrison offers a nuanced and cogent perspective on China's energy policy, setting it in an informative context of competing domestic stakeholders and a variety of significant foreign actors that affect Beijing's pursuit of its security, economic, social, and environmental agendas. Her book is essential reading on the subject."—Steve Chan, University of Colorado

"Timely and insightful.... A fascinating exploration of the complex decisionmaking process and competing priorities of China's quest for energy security."—Suisheng Zhao, University of Denver

"An excellent book that examines China's increasingly diffuse policymaking apparatus."—Jason Lacharite, Journal of Chinese Political Science


Why does China act as it does in its pursuit of energy security? Are “resource wars” inevitable? Going beyond traditional analyses that focus on China as a regional and global threat, Jean Garrison sheds new light on the roots of the country’s energy policy and the constraints that it faces.

Garrison eschews the zero-sum approaches that underlie much conceptualization of the subject, arguing that they are in large part based on the erroneous notion that China is a unitary actor with a coherent energy strategy. Her attention to the competing developmental and environmental priorities at play in China’s domestic politics is a critical contribution to the global energy-security debate.


Jean A. Garrison is associate professor of political science at the University of Wyoming. Her previous work on China includes Making China Policy: From Nixon to G.W. Bush.


  • China's Search for Energy Security.
  • Making China’s Energy Policy.
  • The “Great Game” in Central Asia.
  • Pipeline Politics in East Asia.
  • Challenges and Opportunities in Southeast Asia.
  • Juggling Priorities at Home.
  • The Implications of China’s Quest for Energy Security.