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China's reliance on imported oil grows

(Xinhuanet) -- China imported 76 million tons of crude oil in the first eight months of this year, making up 40 percent of the total domestic demand, a six percent rise over 2003.

China's year end oil import volume is expected to hit 100 million tons in 2004, and the country's demand for petroleum may exceed 400 million tons in 2020. But only approximately 160 million to 170 million tons of that amount can be produced in a year in China.

Low efficiency in using energy has increased the country's reliance on imported oil.

According to the Standardization Administration of China (SAC),30 percent of oil imported to China is used by automobiles. Chinese cars, buses and trucks use 25 percent more petrol per 100 kilometers than those in Europe; this is 20 percent more than in Japan and 10 percent more than in the United States.

China issued a set of compulsory fuel efficiency standards on passenger vehicles last Thursday to lower their fuel consumption.

The standards, which is due to take effect next July, are expected to decrease fuel consumption levels by 15 percent by 2009, the administration noted.

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