Fueling threats: Securitization and the challenges of Chinese energy policy

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Since the early 2000s, energy security has appeared frequently in Chinese policy statements. The focus is on security of supply, even if the discourse is becoming more attentive to other dimensions, such as environmental sustainability. Securitization theory can shed light on this specific threat construction and its implications for China and Chinese foreign policy. Applying securitization theory and reviewing existing debates, I show how the construction of an external threat and a focus on securing access to oil downplay other vulnerabilities and contribute to the perception among China's neighbors and others of a Chinese threat, despite new Chinese security discourses to the contrary. I argue that two factors contribute to this threat construction and its resilience: the role of national oil companies and the limited mobilizing power of environmental and climate security discourses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-206
Number of pages24
JournalAsian Perspective
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • China
  • Climate security
  • Energy security
  • Environmental security
  • Oil
  • Securitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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