Is China trying to “lock up” the world’s natural resources?

Got your attention didn’t I?  Here more:

The rapid emergence of China as a major industrial power poses a complex challenge for the world’s natural resources. This column argues that the Chinese government-backed investments in natural resource supplies are predominately in areas that will help expand, diversify, and improve competition in the global supplier system. But potential geopolitical consequences remain a reason for concern.

In non-jargon-speak, Chinese actions will actually benefit non-Chinese buyers of natural resources by increasing potential supply.  This is because China invests in the smaller resource extractors, who now have the capital to explore and develop virgin fields.  We need not fear or resent aggressive Chinese moves towards resource procurement.

But as always, the devil is in the details.  T.H. Moran makes his cheery prognosis only with respect to physical supply and not with respect to the attendant political machinations, where the elites in poor, but resource-rich nations jockey for a share of the spoils in an orgy of violence and corruption.  But then, one cannot single out the Chinese in this regard.  US and European resource extraction is similarly dogged by political violence and / or corruption all over Africa and Asia.  Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Tajikistan immediately come to mind.

The full article is here.


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