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There's rural China and city China, and they have little in common. Having said that, most of the GDP is in the cities so it looks like the economy really isn't all that oil-dependent (of course, it's coal-dependent).

The IEA data is in MToe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) and the international fossil carbon markets tends to be priced off oil regardless of whether it's coal, oil or gas that is being considered.

It's not going to be a spike, but a prolonged shortage. So ability to adapt may be more telling in the long run than currency reserves. Besides, USA may simply print dollars as they are insanely accepted in most places.

The range of imports to reserves is about one hundred from China to the US or Western Europe. That is, if it comes to that, China can buy itself 100 times more time with its currency reserves. And the amount of money the US would have to print to balance that would crash the dollar. Also, China has reserves or the order of its GDP (!) so it can be several years' worth of oil purchases (at current prices).

As for trends I'd need time-series data ($0.03 per data point to access the IEA database gives you an idea of the order of magnitude of the price of data), and for social cohesion I don't even know where to look...

When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 27th, 2008 at 05:50:04 AM EST
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