KAPSARC hosted a seminar entitled Views on China’s Energy Economy , on March 10, 2014.
Henry Wang, Executive Advisor Corporate Planning at SABIC, spoke about the current state of China’s energy industry, and its links to Saudi Arabia. He highlighted the degree of mutual trade that has built up, not only in energy but across petrochemicals and other industrial sectors.
Xu Xiaojie, Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and lead author on the World Energy China Outlook, then gave a presentation. People are used to hearing and learning about the IEA’s world energy outlook, but this is the first year that China has produced its own version which provides its take on the complexities of China’s energy sector. Xu Xiaojie spoke not only about the overall picture and China’s energy use out to 2035, but also provided great detail about the different fields such as coal, oil, gas, and of course, renewables.
Yao Yu, Energy Attaché at the Chinese Embassy in Riyadh, picked up on the points raised in the previous presentations. He explained how the Sino-Saudi relationship had grown from the early 1990s, and how that relationship had evolved over the years to the present position where Saudi Arabia has become China’s preferred supplier and China is Saudi Arabia’s preferred buyer. He also talked about the degree of political friendship that has grown through a series of high level visits. Two hours after the seminar ended, it was officially announced that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia will be traveling to China on a high level visit.
All three speakers pointed out that energy is only one part of the growing relationship between Saudi Arabia and China.
The Center plans to hold additional seminars on a variety of topics throughout the year.