A partir de hoje vou publicar aqui um ensaio que escrevi, em inglês, no âmbito do mestrado em Estudos Europeus do Instituto de Estudos Europeus de Macau sobre as estretégias da China e da União Europeia para a zona da Ásia Central, no que diz rspeito às políticas de segurança de fornecimento de energia, numa leitura de cariz geopolítico.
Energy Supply Security Policy
European Union and China in Central Asia
José Carlos Matias
The Central Asia and the Caspian region have drawn the attention of the world especially since the end of the Cold War. Indeed, there have been deep political, economic, and social transformations in the landmass of Eurasia. Politically the fall of the Soviet Union brought up the newly independent states of the former Asian republics of the Soviet Union. The new map of Central Asia began to include five new States – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyztan – and three nations between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sean- Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In this paper we will focus on the five Central Asian Republics and on the Caspian States, which includes also Russia, one of the key processes in this area. The Central Asia and Caspian areas have received the attention of the world powers because of several reasons. Here we highlight the importance of the substantial hydrocarbon reserves (mainly Oil and Natural Gas) at the light of the new challenges for the energy supply security strategies of the European Union and China.
First one has to clarify the new challenges of the Pipeline diplomacy and Energy Supply Security policy, analyzing what changed in the last 30 years, since the oil shock in 1973, in the Oil market and regarding the Internation Political Economy of the Energy Security policies, encompassing it in the broader spectrum of the economic globalization.
Then, we will focus on the key issues of geopolitics of Central Asia: the recent history, political, social and economic shifts since the end of the Soviet Union, the security problems, the entry of the United States in the area after September 11 and the power politics strategies of the major powers in the world. The following step is, narrowing the approach, to overview the weight and relevance of the natural gas and oil in the region. In the second part of the paper, we wil enter into the core of our analysis, endeavouring to understand, in general, the geopolitical strategy of China, first, and the European Union, later, towards the Central Asian countries, and in particular, the energy supply security strategy of both world powers before the Central Asia and Caspian Region.
In the case of China, we will regard whether the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an efficient device of Beijing (and Moscow) to strengthen their interest in the region. European Union is also a interested part in the dialogue with the Central Asian nations, since it will face a huge increase in the oil and gas dependence from imports in the furure. The objective is to clarify what is the EU strategy for Central Asia, first in a broader sense, then, in what concerns the energy supply security towards the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia, especifically in the Caspian Sea. Facing the imperial approach of the United States in Central Asia, specifically after September 11 and the War in Afghanistan and the Sino/Chinese way o resist to the American influence in an area considered by Russia and China in their natural sphere of influence, what is the EU strategy?