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Phillips, A. A dangerous synergy: energy securitization, great power rivalry and strategic stability in the Asian century
In The Pacific Review, Vol. 26, Issue 1, 2013.

Andrew Phillips1
Lecturer in International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Queensland MA & PhD from Cornell University Specializes in: International relations theory; historical sociology; world history; international security; theories of world order and disorder; grand strategy and great power rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region; terrorism and counter-terrorism; insurgency and counter-insurgency

The paper analyses the current and prospective implications of Asias energy consumption revolution for regional stability Main argument: o Japanese security anxieties worked to reinforce the regional alignment patterns in the past (1970s to 1990s) stability o The post-Cold war settings witnessing the rise of two new energy super-consumers, China and India breeds instability and competition o Energy securitization increasingly viewed as a core policy issue in Asia Growing tendency to for major powers to see energy policy as a national security issue cast in increasingly adversarial terms aggravated regional tension o The trend is neither desirable, nor inevitable. Can be overcome through cooperation

Conceptual framework o Energy security = a state in which national governments perceive that they will have reliable, affordable and uninterrupted access to energy services necessary to maintain normal economic activity Matter of governments subjective perception Thomas theorem Depends on: Perceived adequacy of supply relative to current and prospective demand Perceived efficiency, flexibility, resilience and responsiveness of domestic and international institutions responsible for the allocation of resources Perceived stability and benignity of the larger security order o Energy securitization Methods of ensuring the access to energy Systems of allocation central planning vs. market mechanisms A security issue / a market issue


simon.fiala@seznam.cz The tendency to securitize trade in key commodities has historically been the norm in the Asia Pacific Nowadays significantly extending to energy resources as the import grows Not a problem in itself in Asia what is troubling is the way HOW it is being done, that is in an adversarial manner which adds to the spiral of deterioration in regional stability o Dynamics of energy consumption <--> shifting patterns of diplomatic alignment Comparative and historical analysis of two contrasting periods: Betw. 1972 (the Shanghai comm.) and 1991 reinforcing stability The Post-Cold War energy security constellation feeding volatility Energy security and Asian regional security between 1972 and 1991 o The Shanghai communiqu (1972; Joint Communiqu of the USA and the PRC) Commitment to normalize relations No power should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region (suspension of contest) o Stability attributable to favourable diplomatic alignments and corresponding military balance + patterns of energy production and consumption US normalizing relations with China The US relation to both China and Japan soothing suspicion between the latter two The trilateral entente solid basis for cooperation US helping East Asian countries to integrate into the liberal economic order Anti-Soviet solidarity Energy consumption and production influencing the regional stability Japan the biggest net importer strengthening the alliance with the US as the global energy flows guarantor o Convergence of interests; Japan giving support to US policies abroad (esp. the Middle East) o The alliance shielded the rest of East Asia from the threat of Japanese militarism China a net exporter until 1993 o Providing energy resources to Japan A welcome substitution for Soviet oil o the Sino-Japanese entente2 formalized in the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship o China extracting a commitment of anti-hegemonism from Japan; cooperation with Japan helped China to kick-start modernization Australia intensified energy cooperation o Solidification of diplomatic and economic ties o Japan Australias key export market; Australia Japans pivotal energy security partner India underdeveloped and insignificant in terms of regional security The described configuration was far from optimal From human-welfare perspective, but contributed to regional stability

an international understanding providing for a common course of action (Merriam-Webster)


Energy security and Asian regional security in the post-Cold War period o Erosion of the regional stability Japan economically stagnating; China booming The US shoring up its regional clients, China reacting by solidifying ties with its allies (Pakistan, Myanmar) and trying to also establish connections with US satellites India growing in economic importance, balancing against China The US increasingly incapable of singlehandedly dominating the region militarily, especially at seas China and India establishing their respective maritime interests While Japan was happy with relying on the US for getting uninterrupted access to oil. China and India are less enthusiastic about the status quo. o Approach to energy in Asia changed increasingly conceived as a national security issue Japan, China and India consequently securitized energy as a policy issue, and had done so in an adversarial manner that is exacerbating regional rivalries o Energy consumption and production influencing the regional stability China and Indonesia ceasing to exist as energy exporters Japans demand for oil offset by Chinas and Indias The turmoil following the Arab Spring put the US credibility as an energy security guarantor in question Japan getting insecure again. Fukushima further undermined the stability Tensions arising between China and Japan in the context of soaring demand for energy, skyrocketing prices of oil and volatility of the Middle East Efforts to conduct joint ventures in pipelines and reserves exploration stall Contest over access to resources causes frictions despite compelling common interest in developing mutually beneficial energy regime Energy securitized, adding to myriad of sources of diplomatic frictions China and its energy security Chinas demand already requires import of energy; it is expected to soar China facing far less inhibitions than Japan in aggressively prosecuting its national energy interests Mercantilist approach to overseas investment securing access to energy Extreme sensitivity to the geopolitical realities underpinning the global energy markets; uneasiness with the US energy protectorate o China turns to the global pariahs for energy cooperation Chinas anxieties have inflated further anxieties in its peers India Projected rapid increase in energy demand need for imports Some local reserves exist, but not quite ready to be tapped Also concerned about the reliability of the global energy market Entering competition with China o National companies competing over tapping resources abroad o India frustrated by Chinas partnership with Pakistan o India entering into an uneasy partnership with the US 3


A dangerous synergy! Securitization of energy by China leads other players to also securitize energy making it paradoxically more difficult to secure access to energy for each one Neither desirable, nor inevitable From competition to cooperation harnessing energy security concerns in support of regional order o Energy can function both as a common interest or as a scarce resource to be competed over o Argument: It is possible to reconceive energy security as a catalyst of cooperation, but it will not happen spontaneously Can energy security function as a catalyst of cooperation? Yes, it already did: o ASEAN in the aftermath of the 1970s oil shocks o Japans initiatives to integrate energy security provision in FTAs o Minor initiatives within APEC, ASEAN+3 o However, these initiatives are indicators of insecurity rather than its solutions Initiatives to this date had at best ambivalent cumulative impact, and they have serious practical limitations o They have been developed in an ad-hoc fashion; not comprehensive enough; do not bridge divisions Action is necessary on bilateral, regional and global levels The bilateral level: promising, cooperation among US and China over stabilizing the global markets and developing alternative sources o Sino-American coop.: Several agreements and institutions emerged crystallization of convergent expectations mechanisms of diffuse reassurance should be paralleled within other dyads multilateral cooperation must grow on pre-established bilateral understanding o Five Party model could serve as a template Korea, America, Japan, China, India: countries that consume 50% of the worlds energy and at the same time tend to conceive energy issues in adversarial terms Global dimension: current energy security problem is embedded in the wider world order its solution has to take that into account o The International Energy Agency (IEA); The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) have to embrace all energy super-consumers (incl. India and China) o While complete de-securitization of energy would be optimal, it is unrealistic Will energy be perceived as an object of collective security or a zero-sum game?