Central & SE Asia / Australasia

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Summary | Profile

Country profile: China

Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam
Climate: extremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in north
Terrain: mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east
Size: 9596960 sq. km total (Land area: 9326410 sq. km  Water area: 270550 sq.km)
Population: 1,330,044,605 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
Government: Communist state
Capital city: Beijing
Legal system: based on civil law system; derived from Soviet and continental civil code legal principles; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; constitution ambiguous on judicial review of legislation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Currency: Renminbi (RMB); note - also referred to by the uni

Country profile

China is the world's most populous country and has a rapidly growing economy. China’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown at 9.9 percent in 2005, down slightly from the 2004 rate of 10.1 percent. Economic forecasts remain strong for China, with real GDP expected to increase 9.9 percent in 2006. Inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) into China totaled $86.1 billion in 2005, a new record and roughly double the level of 2001. China’s merchandise trade surplus soared to $102 billion in 2005, its largest surplus ever and roughly three times larger than the 2004 figure.

Together with strong economic growth, China’s demand for energy is surging rapidly. EIA forecasts that China’s oil consumption will increase by almost half a million barrels per day in 2006, or 38 percent of the total growth in world oil demand. China is the world’s third-largest net importer of oil behind the United States and Japan, an important factor in world oil markets.

Economic development has proceeded unevenly in China, with urban coastal areas experiencing more rapid economic development than in other parts of the country. As strong growth continues unabated, the Chinese government has taken measures to cool the economy. In August 2006, the central bank raised interest rates by 0.27 percent to bring lending rates to 6.12 percent, the second rate increase in four months. The central bank also raised the reserve requirement for commercial banks by 0.5 percent in June and July 2006, bringing the requirement to 8.5 percent. These moves serve to take money out of the money supply to help ward off possible economic overheating.

Breaking with previous policy, China delinked its currency, the renmimbi, from the U.S. dollar in July 2005, resulting in an initial devaluation of 2.1 percent. The renminbi now floats within a very narrow 0.3 percent band against a basket of currencies from the country's major trading partners. Since the devaluation, the renminbi has remained well within the narrow band and has appreciated about 1.4 percent against the U.S. dollar as of mid-July 2006.

With China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2001, the Chinese government made a number of specific commitments to trade and investment liberalization which, if fully implemented, will substantially open the Chinese economy to foreign firms. In the energy sector, this will mean the lifting or sharp reduction of tariffs associated with imports of some classes of capital goods, and the eventual opening to foreign competition of some areas such as retail sales of petroleum products.

Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 3 million bbl/day (2007 est.) 58 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Consumption: 6 million bbl/day (2007 est.) 55 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Exports: 79,060 bbl/day (2007 est.) 2 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Imports: 3 million bbl/day (2007 est.) 976 million cu m (2006 est.)
Reserves: 12 billion bbl (2007 est.) 2 trillion cu m (2006 est.)
Major fields:

China - recent news

13 Jun 24
China: Empyrean Energy provides update on Block 29/11 offshore China
Empyrean Energy, the oil and gas development company with interests in China, Indonesia and the United States, has provided an update on Block 29/11 offshore China. Empyrean has put forward a submission to CNOOC for an extension on Block 29/11, having been unsuccessful in its farmout of the Topaz prospect.
06 Jun 24
China: CNOOC Ltd makes major discovery in Western South China Sea
CNOOC Limited has achieved a major exploration breakthrough in an ultra-shallow gas play in the ultra-deep water South China Sea. Lingshui 36-1 gas field is located in the western South China Sea, with an average water depth of approx. 1,500 meters. The field has been tested to produce over 10 million cubic meters per day of open flow natural gas.
07 May 24
China: CNOOC Limited announces Bozhong 19-6 Gas Field 13-2 Block 5 Well Site Development Project on-stream
CNOOC Limited has announced that the Bozhong 19-6 Gas Field 13-2 Block 5 Well Site Development Project has commenced production. The project, located in central Bohai Sea, is expected to achieve a peak production of approximately 5,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2026.
15 Apr 24
China: Sinopec completes drilling of China's deepest geothermal exploration well of 5,200 meters
Sinopec has successfully completed the drilling of China's deepest geothermal exploration well, the Fushen-1 well in Hainan with a well depth of 5,200 meters.
26 Mar 24
China: TotalEnergies and SINOPEC join forces to produce sustainable jet fuel at a SINOPEC's refinery
TotalEnergies and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation ('SINOPEC') have signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to jointly develop a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production unit at a SINOPEC's refinery in China. The planned unit, jointly owned by SINOPEC and TotalEnergies, will have the capacity to produce 230,000 tons of SAF per year, and will process local waste or residues from the circular economy (cooking oils and animal fats).

China - more news

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