US-China Energy Relations: The Case of Natural Gas

ASIA FORUM with Dr. Gaye Christoffersen

Resident Professor of International Politics, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Tuesday August 27, 2013, 10:00 – 11:30

The US and China have agreed to establish a new pattern of major power relations, and to make bilateral energy cooperation in natural gas one of the functional areas of the new pattern. This presentation will argue that although shale gas is a new area of US-China energy cooperation, it will follow patterns established over a decades-long history of energy cooperation between the US and China. It will consider several questions: how did these patterns emerge? Were these patterns path dependent, meaning once a pattern was initiated, what was the extent of institutionalization? To what extent were bilateral agreements nested within, or coordinated with, regional East Asian/Asia-Pacific multilateral agreements? It will focus on recent bilateral natural gas dialogues to determine whether they represent something new, change in US-China energy relations including the shift towards a “new pattern of great-power relations”, and to what extent they represent continuity with the past.

Dr. Gaye Christoffersen is a Resident Professor of International Politics at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China, where she teaches a course on Asian Energy Security. Professor Christoffersen has several years of experience in educational and research institutions in California, Hawaii, Colorado, Beijing, Vladivostok and Turkish Cyprus. Her recent publications include: “The Multiple Levels of Sino-Russian Energy Relations,” in Eurasia’s Ascent in Energy and Geopolitics: China, Russia, and Central Asia, Niklas Swanstrom and Robert Bedeski, eds. (Routledge, 2012); “Human Security Implications of China’s Foreign Energy Relations,” in China’s Challenges to Human Security: Foreign Relations and Global Implications, Guoguang Wu, ed. (Routledge, 2012); and “U.S.-China energy relations and energy institution building in the Asia-Pacific,” in China and East Asian Regionalism: Economic and Security Cooperation and Institution-Building, Suisheng Zhao, ed.

During her time as a guest researcher at ISDP she will research on energy security and host an Asia Forum.

Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Ebba Mårtensson at