You could not make this stuff up. According to today’s New York Times, Dubya is planning to lecture the Chinese president on the need to curb his (i.e. China’s) thirst for oil! Yes, that’s right — the US is going to hector the Chinese for guzzling too much oil.
WASHINGTON, April 18 — The competition for access to oil is emerging high on the agenda for President Hu Jintao’s visit to the White House this week. President Bush has called China’s growing demand for oil one reason for rising prices, and has warned Beijing against trying to “lock up” global supplies.
With crude oil selling for more than $70 a barrel and American motorists paying $3 a gallon for gasoline, American officials say the subject cannot be avoided at Thursday’s meeting in the Oval Office, as it was sidestepped when Mr. Bush visited Beijing last fall.
China’s appetite for oil also affects its stance on Iran, where a growing confrontation with the United States over nuclear programs has already unsettled oil markets. China has invested heavily in Iran, and as a permanent member of the Security Council, its position on the question of sanctions is crucial.
Even as Mr. Hu arrived in Seattle on Tuesday, Chinese and American negotiators were debating a proposal for the two presidents to announce a joint study of both nations’ energy needs as a way to ward off conflict in coming decades, when China’s rapidly expanding need for imported energy to sustain its growth may collide with the needs of the United States, Europe and Japan.
In 2004 China used some 6.5 million barrels of oil a day and overtook Japan as the world’s second largest user of petroleum products. The largest, the United States, consumes about 20 million barrels a day…
I’m not known for my admiration of the repressive Chinese regime, but in this case I trust that Hu tells George where to stuff his demands.