China gets pushy about finding oil and gas supplies outside Mideast

Historians cataloguing the unintended consequences of the Iraq war can add another to their list. Until 2003, China had been wooing Saddam Hussein, hoping to lay claim to some of Iraq’s undeveloped oil reserves. But the U.S.-led war, perceived by China’s leaders as a bid to secure geopolitical hegemony in the Middle East, KO’d that plan. So now China is trying to secure energy supplies in some unsavory regions (think Sudan, Iran, and Myanmar) less directly influenced by the U.S. — one reason state-owned Chinese oil company CNOOC is bidding hard for California-based Unocal Corp., which controls many Asian oil and gas fields. Said an anonymous Chinese government energy adviser, “No matter if it’s rogue’s oil or a friend’s oil, we don’t care. Human rights? We don’t care. We care about oil.”