Energy and security in Asia : assessing the situation, evaluating the responses : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the degree of Master of Philosophy in Defence and Strategic Studies at Massey University
This thesis analyses the security and strategic implications of increased energy demand in Asia and asks whether the solutions being considered by Asian countries are able to deal with these problems.
For the purposes of this thesis, Asia includes China, Japan, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The countries of the Indian sub-continent are excluded. It is divided into two main sections. First, this thesis investigates how increased reliance on specific energy resources by Asian countries can impact upon issues such as sea lane security, geopolitical relations, and the environment. Second, it analyses the solutions available and assesses their ability to lessen the impact of increasing energy demand upon security. In addition, the second section examines the degree to which the solutions are being applied within the region and which solutions are likely to be prominent in the future. Energy's importance to national well-being, the need to transport forms of it over borders and international waters, and its environmental implications mean that energy issues have the ability to affect the security and strategic concerns of nations. This is emphasised within Asia, with its potential for rapid increases in energy demand and the mix of energy rich and energy poor countries within the region. Asian countries must ensure adequate supplies of energy for achieving national goals whilst balancing this with the strategic and security implications that come with ensuring energy supply. If this balance is not achieved, the potential exists for a range of issues to impact upon the economic, political, and strategic stability of the region.