Energy cooperation has also been an important part of the efforts being made by economies in the region to push for greater regional integration through mechanisms such as APEC.
The National Bureau of Statistics said earlier this year that China's primary energy consumption hit 4.26 billion tons of standard coal equivalent in 2014. According to BP, that figure accounted for 23 percent of the world's total last year.
The data also indicates that China's economic development is faced with increasing restraints in terms of oil and gas resources.
As a result, the government must address the problem of finding stable and sufficient energy supplies.
Major energy producers such as Russia and Australia also need to seek export markets for their energy resources. In this regard, there is tremendous room for complementary and reciprocal cooperation between China and these countries in the energy arena. There is also substantial room for cooperation in the field of clean energy.
Currently, fossil fuel energy still represents a big chunk of China's primary energy consumption, resulting in pressure for the country to adjust its energy structure due to environmental concerns. China is pressing ahead with efforts to ensure that clean energy such as solar and wind power makes up a bigger share of its energy structure, which requires support for technological innovation in these areas. Meanwhile, China retains considerable cost advantages in clean energy manufacturing as compared to Western nations, but its production capacity has yet to be fully integrated with actual market needs. Therefore, in the field of new energy, there is also substantial room for cooperation.
APEC is the top-ranking and most influential mechanism for economic cooperation among governments of the Asia-Pacific region. Since its establishment in 1989, APEC has played a significant role in facilitating trade liberalization, as well as economic and technical cooperation among its member economies. It has also addressed the issue of climate change.
Philippines-based newspaper The Standard reported on November 18 that China and the US have promised to promote renewable energy at this year's APEC summit as a way of dealing with climate change. The report also noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping has appealed to Asia Pacific countries to step up cooperation to strengthen their capacity to adapt to climate change.
As China is playing an increasingly important role in the world economy, it also has a greater say at a host of organizations devoted to regional economic cooperation. So the transition of the Chinese economy and changes in the nation's energy structure should be one of the main topics of regional cooperation.