China and Japan – the two giants of East Asia – are competing for energy resources around the globe. Their rivalry in the East China Sea, Russia, Central Asia and Southeast Asia has been well documented. Yet little has been written in Washington about the impact of Sino-Japanese rivalry in Africa.
With one-third of its top 15 oil suppliers in Africa, the United States ignores the challenges of this geopolitical dynamic at its peril. As the world’s largest consumer of energy and protector of the sea lanes, the United States plays a critical role in ensuring the free flow of this important commodity.