Can there be a China-India Oil Alliance amid Differences?

Can the bitterness in India-China Relations be addressed by a China-India Oil Alliance? While both India and China aim to form an alliance of crude oil buyers, the political and economic issues between the two might create hurdles in the process. As per the experts, the China-India oil alliance would not work out unless the two nations abstain from disagreements over several issues.

Simmered India-China relations stand as a big obstacle to the proposed oil alliance between the two nations. China is the largest importer of crude oil while India is in the third spot after the US.

India-China Energy Pact

India and China are among two of the largest importers of crude oil. Hence the China-India oil alliance could prove to be mutually beneficial for both the Asian nations and give them a larger say the global pricing of crude oil. Sanjiv Singh, the Chairman of Indian Oil Corp met with Chairman of China National Petroleum Corp in Beijing this month to deliberate on the alliance. Even the experts feel that there is a great scope for energy cooperation between India and China. As reported by the Press Trust of India, China and India accounted for about 17% of global crude oil imports last year.

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In April, Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas proposed the setting up of an oil buyers’ club at the international energy forum. He proposed the same, with the idea of being able to negotiate better with the sellers. The idea was also to have a more structured purchase of crude oil from the US in order to counter the monopoly of the OPEC nations.

How feasible is the China-India Oil Alliance?

As much as the two nations are convinced to have cooperation in the energy sector, the political and economic discontents stand tall in the way. Several territorial disputes, for instance, Doklam have triggered conflicts between China and India. India also does not seem very impressed with the Belt and Road initiative by China. So, can these two nations overcome discontents and go on to form an oil alliance?

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