China To Hold Energy Conference

U.S., India, Japan and South Korea to attend conference on energy consumption.

Beijing (AP) – China will host an energy conference next week for the United States, India, Japan and South Korea, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The Dec. 16 meeting, organized by China’s National Development and Reform Commission ( NDRC), will focus on “enhancing cooperation and dialog among the major energy consumers in the world,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing.

Delegates will discuss ways to reduce energy consumption, raise energy efficiency and find more energy sources, Qin said. He did not give more details, saying they were still being worked out.

The NDRC, China’s top economic planning agency, oversees the country’s energy issues.

China’s breakneck economic growth has fueled a voracious appetite for energy. Rising power consumption, by individuals as well as industry, has left the country increasingly hungry for coal and reliant on imported oil.

As part of China’s plans to meet future electricity demand, it is negotiating with U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co. and Areva of France to build new nuclear plants.

Earlier this year, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it would help China raise its energy efficiency and conserve its environment by sharing energy-saving technologies and its expertise in coal mining.

South Korea and China have also agreed to pursue joint projects in the fields of renewable energy, oil reserves, electricity and gas.

During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to India last month, the two countries agreed to deepen civilian nuclear cooperation, although there were no firm commitments on the mechanics of such an arrangement.

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