If the US and EU decide to ban crude oil exports from Iran, a possibility which is looking more likely as political tensions in the Middle East escalate, crude oil prices in the global market could shoot up by as much as 30 percent - and China, which is heavily reliant on imported crude, could suffer more than most countries from such a ban.
In 2011, 55 percent of the crude oil China consumed was imported, and 51 percent of the crude it imported came from the Middle East, higher than any other country in the world, according to a report by the CNPC Economics and Technology Research Institute released on February 15. This report also predicted that by 2030 more than 70 percent of the oil consumed by China would be imported.
The best thing for China to do at this critical juncture is to take a page from the US, which has long been working to diversify its overseas sources of crude oil by, for example, securing more energy tie-ups with Russia, strengthening its own local oil exploration and production capacity and focusing on renewable energy technology as an alternative to fossil fuels.
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