The Chinese approach to investing in oil and natural gas in the world economy is to realize that oil is a strategic resource that is the object of great power rivalry. A key factor for Chinese success in securing oil resources overseas is to exclude competitors’ interference in those resources.1 One strategy for doing so would be to bring those resources within a Sino-centric order. Another of China’s overseas oil investment strategies has been to find its niche within the world oil economy by investing in those countries considered rogue states, that is, violators of human security; countries that the oil majors and other national oil corporations have not been allowed to invest in because of their pariah status. The two strategies are not mutually exclusive; rogue states Myanmar and Uzbekistan appear to be moving into a Sino-centric order. Chinese behavior has generated international criticism since it is assumed that neither China nor the host producing country have made human security a priority, and in general there are few human security-related norms governing oil investment in developing countries. This chapter will argue that China’s foreign energy relations, and the role that human security plays, can best be understood comparatively. A comparative analysis reveals China’s oil investment record relative to other large oil importers: the United States and Japan. Unlike China, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made human security a major component of its foreign policy, actively organizing symposia in partnership with the United Nations.2 The US Department of State has a Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and issues annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for every country in the world.3 How does China, a country that makes few claims to incorporate human security into its foreign oil and gas relations and its “going out” strategy, compare with those countries that have placed major emphasis on human security? The chapter will first assess how the three countries manage their energy relations with Myanmar to establish a comparative framework, and then focus on a case study of Uzbekistan, comparing China’s role in Uzbekistan to that of Japan and the United States. Each country’s contribution to human security in Uzbekistan will be assessed. This chapter is concerned with a syndrome found in many oil-producing countries where oil companies collaborate, facilitate, and finance authoritarian

regimes. Political elites in oil-producing countries use their militaries to secure oil revenues and suppress domestic dissent. China, Japan and the United States are all net oil importers dependent on oil exports from countries that consistently score very low on any index of human security. Each must manage relations with oil-rich, human rights violators. This chapter will assess how China manages its foreign energy relations compared to the United States and Japan.