Energy and Security in East Asia

Working Papers

Published By

Shorenstein APARC, page(s): 50

January, 1998

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This study examines the likely security consequences of the continued growth in energy consumption in East Asia, and in particular:

  • The dimensions of that growth which are likely to have an effect on international


  • The dependencies and insecurities created by that continued growth.

  • The policy guidance that can be derived for the United States from a review of those

    dependencies and insecurities.

    The study concludes that:

    1. Energy supplies for East Asian economic growth, as well as for other anticipated energy needs in the world, can be available at prices that will not set growth back provided that international markets for fuels, exports, technologies, and capital continue to operate.

    2. The main source of insecurity connected with energy use will be the anticipation, on the part of countries partially or wholly dependent on imports of fuels and energy technologies, of political developments that would interfere with either energy-related imports or the exports needed to pay for them.

    3. Economic and technical solutions to the problems posed by economic and energy consumption growth in East Asia and elsewhere, and by their regional and global environmental impacts, exist if the political framework is available to carry them out. Seeking out and implementing those solutions would serve U.S. leadership and prosperity. As a result, a principal goal of U.S. policies will be to make politically possible the combination of economic and security policies needed to provide that framework. These policies are highly interactive: failure of economic policies, or even misperception of the nature and impact of economic policies, can greatly heighten security problems.

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