China wants to establish a dialogue with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to secure a stable oil supply and ensure global energy needs, according to Foreign Ministry officials.
Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said on Monday that China seeks direct negotiations with OPEC. "Only through this can we maintain security and stability of our oil imports," Zhai was quoted as saying by AP at the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
"To foster negotiations and co-operation between China and OPEC is conducive to developing a stable and healthy global energy market," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news briefing in Beijing yesterday.
Some energy strategy analysts agreed that it is necessary to have co-operation and co-ordination with OPEC to ensure a more stable global energy market.
"Information exchanges between oil producers and consumerscan help reduce misunderstanding and misjudgment of the market," said Chen Fengying, a senior researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
Chen said oil producers need stable market demand; while consumers need stable supplies. Rational prices and a stable market are essential for both parties. Diversified oil suppliers and markets are vital to guarantee energy security, said Chen.
China has built a strategic dialogue mechanism with the International Energy Agency, an energy policy advisor to mainly rich member countries.
Chen said China now needs to reach out to OPEC to make energy co-operation more comprehensive.
Co-operation benefits both China and OPEC since the two sides rely on each other, said Zhou Dadi, a senior researcher with the Energy Research Institute affiliated to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Zhou told China Daily that co-operation can improve transparency in the oil market and stabilize price fluctuations.
During a visit by OPEC President Sheik Ahmad Fahad Al Ahmad Al-Sabah to China last year, the two sides discussed "institutionalizing" a dialogue, acknowledging China's increasing importance as an importer of oil and gas.
China is the third largest oil importer in the world, and OPEC is the largest oil exporter. It accounts for 30 per cent of global oil production and 70 per cent of the world's oil reserves.
Source: China Daily