China’s ‘Malacca Problem’
The majority of China’s energy imports come from the Middle East, a factor which places too much emphasis on the Malacca Strait as a trade lane. Ian Storey from the Jamestown Foundation estimates that approximately 60% of its total oil imports pass through the Malacca Strait annually.
Malacca Strait is a Choke Point for Oil Deliveries in the Event of Conflict
For China’s leaders, this fact presents a significant security challenge since, in the event of conflict in the region, its main source of oil supply can be easily disrupted by closure of the straits.
China Is Diversifying Its Energy Supplies to Mitigate the 'Malacca Problem'
As such, China is intent upon diversifying its energy supply routes across the globe, explaining its recent deals to set up new trade links in South East Asia, Central Asia and Central and South America.