China Rejects IEA Report On Energy Consumption

China on Tuesday rejected a news report based on International Energy Agency (IEA) data indicating that the Asian country had surpassed the United States to become the world's largest energy consumer in 2009, insisting that the data provided by the IEA was not reliable.

"IEA's data on China's energy use is unreliable," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Zhou Xian, an official with the Chinese Cabinet's National Energy Administration, as saying on Tuesday.

Zhou, however, claimed that his country had surpassed the United States as the largest producer of clean energy from various sources such as hydro-power, solar power, nuclear power and wind power, highlighting his country's contribution towards carbon-free energy generation.

According to the Xinhua report, Zhou stressed that the IEA "still lacked understanding about China's relentless efforts to cut energy use and emissions, notably the country's aggressive expansion of new energy development."

Zhou's response came a day after IEA data carried in a Financial Times report indicated that China had consumed energy equivalent to 2.252 billion tons of oil in 2009, about 4% more than the 2.17 billion tons of oil equivalent consumed by the US during the same period.

However, China's National Bureau of Statistics said later that China's energy consumption for 2009 was equal to 2.132 billion tons of oil, lesser than the figure projected by the Paris-based IEA in its report released Monday.

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