China, India Improve Relations

January 16, 2006  •  From
After many years of competition between their two countries, Chinese and Indian officials are now drawing up energy agreements. What does China have to gain?

China and India have set aside their longstanding rivalry to forge an energy alliance. On January 11, India’s petroleum minister, Mani Shankar Aiyar, attended three days of talks to create energy agreements with the Chinese.

Both China and India are highly reliant on imported oil: India imports 70 percent of its oil; China ships in about half its supply. Demand for petroleum in both areas—the two most populous countries on Earth—is increasing rapidly. Aiyar believes India’s need for imported oil will have risen to 85 percent of consumption within 15 years.

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