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China could be key partner in energy governance: top Slovak official

Xinhua, May 7, 2015 Adjust font size:

China can be a major player in ensuring proper global governance for energy, a senior Slovak official told Xinhua in a recent interview in Brussels.

Dr. Urban Rusnak, Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat, said that China could "very much" be an important ally in maintaining fully integrated Asian and global energy markets.

His comments come as the Energy Charter Conference, an international organization founded in 1991 to deal with global energy governance issues, adopts its international energy charter at a ministerial conference in The Hague from May 20-21.

The international energy charter is an updating of the original founding principles of the European Energy Charter, and it set to better reflect new global challenges. China, Egypt, Indonesia and Iran had important inputs into the new charter.

Although China is not a formal member of the Energy Charter Conference, both parties have a "very intense working relationship," according to Rusnak. Currently China is "an observer by invitation."

In February 2014, a report was compiled on the advantages of the energy charter process for China, followed by a meeting in the Chinese capital. As such, "China actively participated in the updated Energy Charter negotiations," Rusnak said.

Currently, the big challenge is creating a model for global energy governance that provides for a predictable investment climate, is technology-neutral, provides for freedom of transit and can alleviate energy poverty.

In addition to bringing more African countries into the international process, China could be a key country in establishing a more integrated Asian energy market. "We are looking for new dimensions, and how all Asian countries can benefit," said Rusnak. Market integration in Central Asia, he says, remains a problem.

Rusnak welcomed recent reforms in China that have seen the country become more competitive, and says this can be an important step in the "faster energy development" in Asian markets. "Let's do the process of modernization together," he said. Endit