China is to host a meeting of top US and Asian energy officials in Beijing October 23-26 in what is seen as a move by Beijing to play a more active role in reining in oil prices, Reuters reported. Government officials from China, India, Japan and South Korea are set to participate in addition to US representatives. Up until now, China has been relatively quiet on global oil issues but escalating domestic energy demands are forcing it to seek a more prominent and proactive role. Despite its efforts to curb oil demand, China has been criticized by experts for refusing to put domestic energy prices in line with global ones. It is claimed that this undermines a move towards greater efficiency in the global markets. One topic set for discussion is the construction of strategic oil reserves. China isn't a member of the International Energy Agency, which manages 1.5 billion barrels in government held reserves. But it is developing its own reserve, likely to be ready for full use in October.
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