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China justifies oil imports from Middle East
October 17, 2013, 10:13 am

[Getty Images]

The Middle East is China’s largest source of crude oil [Getty Images]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said the country’s increasing crude oil imports from the Middle East has followed all transparency rules.

Energy cooperation between China and the Middle East is “transparent and mutually beneficial, which is in the interests of both sides and isn’t against any third-party interests” said Hua Chunying, Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.

“As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has always played a positive and constructive role in the peace, security, development and prosperity of the Middle East”, added the spokesperson.

Growing energy demands has led China to overtake the United States as the world’s top net oil importer.

A report released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said last week that China would retain the top spot through 2014.

Promoting peace and development in the Middle East contributes to the safety of global energy supply and is in the common interests of all parties, noted Hua.

The Middle East is China’s largest source of crude oil and Beijing believes it has a strategic and diplomatic responsibility to ensure stability in the region and to protect the vital energy source.

The Asian nation imported about 83 million metric tons (91.49 million tons) of crude oil from the Middle East in the first seven months of 2013, half its total.

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang has also said recently that he has been “paying a lot of attention to this situation.”

“On Middle East issues, China has played a consistent and proactive role to promote the appropriate resolution of hot spot issues,” he said. “China will continue to play a role that accords with our national strength.”

Source: Agencies