外文标题：China reaps biggest benefits of Iraq oil boom
BAGHDAD: Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.
China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields.
“The Chinese are the biggest beneficiary of this post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq,” said Denise Natali, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University in Washington. “They need energy, and they want to get into the market.”
Before the invasion, Iraq’s oil industry was sputtering, largely walled off from world markets by international sanctions against the government of Saddam Hussein, so his overthrow always carried the promise of renewed access to the country’s immense reserves. Chinese state-owned companies seized the opportunity, pouring more than $2 billion a year and hundreds of workers into Iraq, and just as important, showing a willingness to play by the new Iraqi government’s rules and to accept lower profits to win contracts.
“We lost out,” said Michael Makovsky, a former Defense Department official in the Bush administration who worked on Iraq oil policy. “The Chinese had nothing to do with the war, but from an economic standpoint they are benefiting from it, and our Fifth Fleet and air forces are helping to assure their supply.”
The depth of China’s commitment here is evident in details large and small.
In the desert near the Iranian border, China recently built its own airport to ferry workers to Iraq’s southern oil fields, and there are plans to begin direct flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Baghdad soon. In fancy hotels in the port city of Basra, Chinese executives impress their hosts not just by speaking Arabic, but Iraqi-accented Arabic.
Notably, what the Chinese are not doing is complaining. Unlike the executives of Western oil giants like Exxon Mobil, the Chinese happily accept the strict terms of Iraq’s oil contracts, which yield only minimal profits. China is more interested in energy to fuel its economy than profits to enrich its oil giants.
Chinese companies do not have to answer to shareholders, pay dividends or even generate profits. They are tools of Beijing’s foreign policy of securing a supply of energy for its increasingly prosperous and energy hungry population. “We don’t have any problems with them,” said Abdul Mahdi al-Meedi, an Iraqi Oil Ministry official who handles contracts with foreign oil companies. “They are very cooperative. There’s a big difference, the Chinese companies are state companies, while Exxon or BP or Shell are different.”
China is now making aggressive moves to expand its role, as Iraq is increasingly at odds with oil companies that have cut separate deals with Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdish region. The Kurds offer more generous terms than the central government, but Iraq and the United States consider such deals illegal.
Late last year, the China National Petroleum Corporation bid for a 60 percent stake in the lucrative West Qurna I oil field, a stake that Exxon Mobil may be forced to divest because of its oil interests in Iraqi Kurdistan. Exxon Mobil, however, has so far resisted pressure to sell, and in March the Chinese company said it would be interested in forming a partnership with the American company for the oil field.
If the United States invasion and occupation of Iraq ended up benefiting China, American energy experts say the unforeseen turn of events is not necessarily bad for United States interests. The increased Iraqi production, much of it pumped by Chinese workers, has also shielded the world economy from a spike in oil prices resulting from Western sanctions on Iranian oil exports. And with the boom in American domestic oil production in new shale fields surpassing all expectations over the last four years, dependence on Middle Eastern oil has declined, making access to the Iraqi fields less vital for the United States.
At the same time, China’s interest in Iraq could also help stabilize the country as it faces a growing sectarian conflict.
“Our interest is the oil gets produced and Iraq makes money, so this is a big plus,” said David Goldwyn, who was the State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration. “Geopolitically it develops close links between China and Iraq, although China did not get into it for the politics. Now that they are there, they have a great stake in assuring the continuity of the regime that facilitates their investment.”
god bless china, new world order .without religion
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China & Hyena ……………..sounds similar. Both are very smart & opportunistic player.
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Pranav (pune )
China needs to rise so as to counter the influence of US in the world. China needs to make this world more polar by taking on the mighty USA. Peace and Security of this world lies in China becoming powerful and strong, otherwise US will continue its warmongering and dictatorship.
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kanji (mumbai) replies to Pranav
usa has become a rampaging elephant chinese dragon is needed to balance the power and contain the elephant.
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Bhadrinath B (Ban-Hyd) replies to Pranav
What you said is true brother, but rise of China is a danger to India. Do we need that?
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China fails (The wonderful West) replies to Pranav
The USA has saved the world many times from Chinese invasions. She will do it again. China will fall into darkness even as she plans for new invasions!
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very sharp move … USA losing and China gaining … India watching like a fool
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Indian (Mumbai) replies to Bond Lala
instead of taking advantage like this, Indian company increase the price every month to forfeit the so called loss…
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This is where China differs from other countries. When there is a slightest opportunity they exploit it. They are ready to forego the higher profits just for the presence and the uninterrupted supply of oil for their economy. Though they are cunning a lot has to be learnt about dealing with the situation on hand. They have put in hard work and reaping the benefits.
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Chinese r liars (usa) replies to Easwar Venkatraman
The Chinese accuse the US of invading Iraq for oil but the Chinese get the most oil from Iraq.
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once again, china has shown matured thinking and working towards its long term goal of energy security… it’s not that, chinese leaders are not corrupt and not dishonest, but the way they work, their utmost main priority is to have better and better future for china!!!!
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Mohit Agrawal (Pune)
Nice Slap on face of US !
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ITS BECAUSE CHINA DONT FEAR USA. WHILE INDIA DONT BUY OIL FROM IRAN,IRAQ,LIBYA AND VENEZUELA EVEN ITS AVAILABLE AT CHEAP RATE, DUE TO FEAR OF USA. INDIA IS FATTOO NATION WHO CAN NEVER CONFRONT USA. IT WILL REMAIN SLAVE FOREVER.
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US occupied Iraq to grab the oil fields…. but China snatched it away……
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aunty biryani (india)
so amrika attacked iraq, stole their oil and sold it to china. what is new here? india is also customer, but with less money and lesser requirement than mighty china. lagey raho uncle sam ki chaatney mein
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US has sucked enough oil from Iraq, which was the main hidden reason to wage a war against Iraq. Now, China has over take them to procure oil. Is it really benefiting Iraqi people??????
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vijay banga (new delhi)
Imagine the astute business sense and acumen that Chinese have applied. They took the opportunity and boarded the bus that India missed so much for this country’s stupidity despite excellent relations with Iraq and Iran for ages
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cabpgupta04 Prasad Gupta (GHAZIABAD)
there is a difference between INDIA AND CHINA,they are more concerned with their national interest where as INDIA is struggling to find out who is secular and who is non secular this has impacted national interest in a big way.
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Innocent guy (Asia)
Chinese are so concerned towards their nation, whereas Indians are too busy copying the western culture!
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fds (india) replies to Innocent guy
If Indians copied “western culture”, we would be a developed nation by now. Instead, we are busy [email protected] and telling women how to dress and behave while China doesnt care about those things.
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Suresh (India) replies to Innocent guy
Indians are too busy in looting the national wealth.
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Pallavi (Port Louis)
The Chinese are only interested in gobbling up things be it land or resources without sharing or giving back anything to the source or community. If Iraq had borders with China then they would have merrily gobbled away the same.
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Innocent guy (Asia)
India can only watch as a mute spectator and increase the petrol prices day by day, thereby mounting the pressure on the common man, while providing car loans lower interest rates!! Rightly, India deserves the tag of being a 3rd world nation forever!!!
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Pradeep Nair (India)
Indians are no where near this… Indians really don’t know how to make use of these kind of opportunities. Just wasting more money by getting fuel from Iran..
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they hv clear vision whereas we suffer from myopia???
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China is going to be the next global policeman after U.S. They have already started bullying the neighbours. In China bribes are given to make the Economy Flourish and here bribes are taken to loot the resources.
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Ever wondered why muslim countries have the highest oil reserve? Its bcoz of their infighting that millions died and were buried who got transformed into oil in last 1500 years!!!!!
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Where is the oil money going? to USA where else! Them blamed Saddam for Massacre & ended up killing half a million themselves. I’m not a muslim, but i hate USA, you dont have to be a muslim to hate USA.
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iraq has worlds second largest oil reserve ,d easy access as it can be done on land . extraction cost around 23 dollar p/b . stupid usa spent billions kicking sadam out and chinki benefits the dividend