Energy Security in Asia: The Necessity of Interdependence

Girijesh Pant is with Centre for West Asian and African Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
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  • May 2007

    The central thesis of this article is that the Asian energy consumers would serve their interests well if they look again at their energy frontiers and define them within the contours of Asian energy interdependence rather than triggering an Asian energy race. The three leading Asian consumers, China, Japan and India, are principal actors in the Asian theatre, and their needs, assessments and policies are going to be central in defining the regional energy security agenda. Their current approaches have placed them more as competitors, which could trigger conflict situations. However, assessing the loss-gain matrix, the three have been gradually endorsing a position of convergence. In other words, collective risk sharing would provide the rationale for collective energy security. The collective Asian energy security doctrine has to be based on the assumption that energy trade, being cross-border and transnational in nature, can be transformed into an area of cooperation instead of being a cause of insecurity.