Archive for February 22nd, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

China´s Energy Strategy, Commodities, and Montana

Rio Tinto, a mining group with an increasing stake owned by Chinalco (if Canberra agrees), itself owns a 50 percent share in the American joint-venture Decker via Rio Tinto North America (Rio Tinto Energy America, RTEA), according to Politics, Peaks, and Valleys, a blog from Montana. The blog is critical of Rio Tinto´s coal bidness for ecological reasons. Across the Chinalco stake in Rio Tinto, politicpeaksvalleys.com links its regional story to China´s energy strategy.

There are more direct links between China´s energy strategy and the United States of course. In 2007, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty hoped to reopen an abandoned mine for supplies to China, and America has generally become a growing supplier of raw materials. Given the high degree of mechanization, the positive effects on the job markets are limited. More numbers on America´s raw material business with China can be found over there.

Currently, demand for such exports is going down anyway, in the wake of the global economic crisis.

As for secretary Clinton´s visit to China, politicpeaksvalleys.com may have to be more critical of her after her visit than before.

In particular, her rhetoric toward China is stressing human rights issues that didn’t hear a peep for eight years, as the country’s harsh crackdown on minorities in its western half continued unabated, much to the dismay of Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim minority groups there.

Clinton did stress ecological issues – these may actually become major elements of America´s future cooperation with China. But human rights were hardly at the center of her agenda.

Related: At least 73 miners killed in Shanxi Coal Mine Explosion, BBC, Febr. 22

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