As Beijing scrambles to power coal plants, the country’s energy problem is expected to create “social upheaval.”
A scramble to supply enough coal to fuel power plants has led China to contemplate raising consumer energy rates.
According to France 24, China may suffer “civil unrest” as a result of Beijing’s management of the country’s energy situation.
Beijing is battling to secure new coal reserves in order to power the country’s populous northeast, which is home to roughly 100 million people and is experiencing the worst power outages in years.
Moves to raise the cost of electricity for Chinese consumers, according to France 24 Correspondent Charles Pellegrin, might provoke a backlash against Xi Jinping’s rule if living standards fall.
“There are actually some stories from Bloomberg stating that Beijing is also thinking about hiking the price of electricity for domestic consumers, for households,” Mr Pellegrin told France 24.
“This could have some fascinating repercussions because boosting home electricity prices could eventually lead to inflation, and inflation, in turn, could lead to poorer living standards.”
“Lowering living conditions leads to societal instability further down the line.”
“The authorities in Beijing place a high value on social stability.
“Because stability indicates that no one is doubting their authority.”
“As a result, they’re in a bit of a pickle here.
“Because they’ve set these environmental goals: zero carbon by 2060 and peak carbon by 2030.”
“However, they must keep the lights on.”
It comes as Chinese and Hong Kong enterprises with stakes in UK-based utility companies have been chastised for making “exorbitant” profits off UK taxpayers.
Sam Armstrong of the Henry Jackson Society has warned that earnings from the UK’s energy grid are being funneled back to China.
He went on to say that, in the end, the ownership model of the UK’s energy sector means Beijing has the power to “turn off the lights!” one day.
“No matter where you are in the country, the utility firms you pay for, that once would have been owned by the British taxpayer, are now likely to be owned, at least to some extent, by a Chinese or Hong Kong corporation,” Mr Armstrong told this website.
“In the past, that didn’t matter as much.
“China desired economic growth, and Hong Kong was an independent province with strong ties to the United Kingdom.
“However, as China develops more and more. “Brinkwire Summary News.”