JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 2596-2612.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20201104

• Energy Geopolitics and Security • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatical dynamics of the territories and balance areas of energy power between the US and China

LIU Cheng-liang1,2,3,4(), WANG Jie4, DU De-bin1,2,3,4()   

  1. 1. Institute for Global Innovation and Development, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. Institute for Geopolitics and Strategic Geography, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou 511458, China
    4. School of Human Geography, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
  • Received:2020-01-15 Revised:2020-07-20 Online:2020-11-28 Published:2021-01-28
  • Contact: De-bin DU;


To date, there are two significant issues including the "shale gas revolution" in the US and the rise of China, which have restructured greatly the distribution and hierarchies of international energy power system. On the basis of two theories of power interdependence and balance in international politics and geopolitics, this paper constructs the theoretical framework and models of energy power, and portrays spatial dynamics of energy power territories and balance areas between the US and China. Results are obtained as follows: First of all, with the rapid evolution of international energy power system and energy trade network, the energy power space of China and the United States has undergone tremendous changes. Secondly, the coal power and natural gas power spaces between China and the United States have basically formed relatively stable regional groups. China's crude oil power space maintains a strong global expansion trend, while the US crude oil power space faces transformation and reconstruction. Thirdly, the balance areas of energy power between China and the United States are constantly fragmented and relatively concentrated in most parts of Europe, Southern Africa and East Asia. According to the characteristics of energy resources and geopolitics, they are divided into five types, namely, the resource endowment type, the resource consumption type, the geographical channel type, the political and economic separation type, and the third-country controling type. Finally, focusing on these types, we suggest some policies. It is necessary to enlarge energy trades and investments with resource endowment countries, to strengthen energy technology cooperation with resource market-oriented countries, to ensure the security and fluent flows of energy transport channels, to strengthen economic cooperation with the political-economic separation countries to influence their diplomatic policies, and to reasonably arrange energy cooperation with the third-country controlling countries. These conclusions are expected to play a guiding role in China's energy trade cooperation, which is of great significance to this country's energy security.

Key words: energy power, energy security, spatial territorities, balance areas, China, the US