Locke urges China, US to turn up heat on energy
Author:Network sources Source:Network sources Date:2013-04-28

US ambassador to China brings strong delegation to oil, gas-rich region, promising closer cooperation

US ambassador to China Gary Locke has called for stronger cooperation with China in the energy sector in an attempt to "improve the living standard of people, create jobs and ensure sustainable development for the planet and its natural resources".

Locke made the call on Thursday in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, at a roundtable conference seeking potential collaboration between US companies and Xinjiang in energy and rail development.

He is the first US ambassador to make an official visit to the region in more than 20 years and also the first to lead a trade delegation to the region, which is rich in energy resources, including coal and oil.

Minister for Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy, William Zarit, said the western region of China represents an enormous and relatively untapped area that is ripe for economic growth.

Opportunities abound in Xinjiang, with rich energy resources that require an advanced local industry to both leverage and transport.

Locke said China is seeking to tap and develop other sources of energy, such as solar and wind. "China and the US could cooperate with each other as well as learn from each other," he said.

The nations are the two largest consumers of energy, and the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.

Locke said he hoped the 27 US energy and railway companies in the delegation can help Xinjiang achieve sustainable energy development.

Christopher Smith, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas in the Office of Fossil Energy at the US Department of Energy, said that in the US, coal fuels about 40 percent of electricity production and will remain an important mix for both countries.

But at the same time, they must work together to develop technologies to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions.

Xinjiang relies on its rail network, which brings opportunities for US transportation companies like GE Transportation, said Yang Xie, general manager for Greater China.

Xinjiang has more than 4,300 kilometers of railways and its target is to reach 10,000 km by 2015. The region's potential is huge both for international companies and domestic companies, he said.

Yang said although the US is an expert in freight rail networks, its passenger services are not as developed as China's. As a result, the two countries have much to learn from each other.

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