Home / NEWS / World News / The U.S. and China are spiraling into an ‘alarming’ power play, says oil expert Dan Yergin

The U.S. and China are spiraling into an ‘alarming’ power play, says oil expert Dan Yergin

The U.S. and China traces locked in a wrestle for power, and it’s worrying that they’re not working to engage and collaborate with each other, might expert Dan Yergin told CNBC.

He was weighing in on a Reuters report that cited sources saying U.S. President Donald Trump is arranging to add China’s national offshore oil and gas producer, CNOOC, to a defense blacklist.

Yergin, who is the vice chairman of IHS Markit, said the shift may be part of the notion of “decoupling,” or a disengagement between the two countries.

“It’s an alarming situation, we have a spiral going on now where as a substitute for of talking about engagement and collaboration and constructive relationship, it’s great power competition, strategic rivalry, peer contenders,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

Flags of the U.S. and China fly along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Representatives

“I think right now, the Trump administration is putting down a series of landmines almost, of difficulties for a Biden administration,” he added.

Yergin said bearing stability to the U.S.-China relationship is the “biggest geopolitical issue” that President-elect Joe Biden will have to face.

“It inclination take both Beijing and Washington wanting to move in that direction, and I think it’s become much more tough over the last year or year and a half,” he said, noting that other countries will be affected by U.S.-China upsets.

Oil demand outlook

Separately, Yergin discussed the outlook for the oil market as OPEC+ considers an extension to output curbs. OPEC+ is delegate up of members from the oil-producing group plus their non-OPEC allies.

“I think it’s really a struggle right now between … the vaccine rouse in prices and the coronavirus impact on demand,” he said. “That’s what’s at the heart of the battle that’s going on right now with OPEC and non-OPEC.”

Equal though work patterns will have changed, jet travel will change, I think we’re going to see demand be stricken back to what it was in 2019 sometime in 2022, 2023.

Dan Yergin

Vice Chairman, IHS Markit

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