China's energy security: the strategic value of co-opetition and the heritage of Hehe culture

Shan Shan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

14 Downloads (Pure)


In the 21st century, increasing demand for energy stimulated by high rates of economic development has pushed China to increase imports, leaving the country highly dependent on foreign energy sources. China’s energy security is therefore under threat from the constant risk of supply falling short of demand. Historically, various approaches have been proposed to attempt to resolve or, at least relieve, this security issue but those discussions focus on either competition or cooperation. The combined approach, co-opetition has been applied in business and this research has attempted to combine these two approaches when dealing with energy security issues, thus the original contribution of this research is to take a unique approach, combining the co-opetition approach with the added benefits of a traditional Chinese philosophy known as ‘Hehe culture’. In addition, the ‘Chinese characteristics’inherent in the energy security strategy, advocated by the Chinese government, has contributed a specific viewpoint in the academic field. Moreover, this research employs the PARTS model from game theory, an analytical tool originally applied in the field of business and economics, to build a framework for evaluating Chinese co-opetition in energy relations. Three case studies of China’s energy co-opetition with Japan, Russia and Africa are analysed according to the framework, revealing how co-opetition affects China’s energy security. The findings of this research include the prerequisites for successful co-opetition, and the value and function of incorporating Hehe culture into co-opetition. The research identifies the impact of thesen prerequisites on the strategic value of co-opetition, generating a new model for Chinese energy security, which will allow for accurate determination of the best approach to the game of energy co-opetition with different players.
Original languageEnglish
  • Haack, Kirsten, Supervisor
  • Shaw, Keith, Supervisor
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'China's energy security: the strategic value of co-opetition and the heritage of Hehe culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this