Its economy grew by 10% in Q4 2009 alone, and now crude oil imports in the most populous nation on earth in 2009 reached a record high of 4.1 million barrels a day.
Overall oil consumption has increased from 7.83 million barrels a day in 2008 to almost 8 million barrels a day in 2009.
Chinas oil production was 1.38 billion barrels and net imports were 1.49 billion barrels. This means that for the first time 51.8% of Chinas oil needs came from foreign sources.
China also produced domestically 0.5% less oil in 2009 than in 2008, following extensive and expensive efforts to boost production.
For 2010, Chinese officials are projecting a 10% increase in imported oil.
By comparison in the US oil consumption fell by about 5%, to about 19 million barrels a day. China is now poised to overtake Japan as the worlds second largest economy.