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China’s energy diplomacy: SOE relations in the context of global distribution and investment pattern

Publication Date
  • Hb Economic Theory
  • Jq Political Institutions Asia
  • Jz International Relations
  • Economics
  • Political Science


This article addresses the mercantilist connotations of China’s energy diplomacy through empirical and quantitative approaches by arguing that: firstly, the economic logic motivating Chinese enterprises is not the key variable in the formulation of foreign investment decisions; secondly, the energy security policies of the Chinese government are key variables which decide the distribution of SOEs’ foreign investment; thirdly, China’s energy diplomacy is mercantilist in nature due to the weakness of its SOEs in the structure of the international market; finally, under the premise of satisfying its government’s energy security policy, SOEs have autonomy in their approaches to investment. Therefore, it may be reasoned that under specific conditions, mercantilism and liberalism can both explain China’s energy diplomacy. This article provides compelling evidence supporting this reasoning, through analyzing cases studies in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa

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