China’s growing role in Africa has received substantial attention, not
least in Sudan and South Sudan, where decades of conflict and
instability have made it an especially contentious context. China’s
traditional foreign policy has been tested while contradictions in its
non-interference policy, military relations and economic engagement have
been exposed. On the whole, Beijing has adopted pragmatic responses to
the realities of a complex situation, especially with regards to the
Republic of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in July 2011. Aside
from the Chinese Government, there are many other Chinese actors who are
involved in South Sudan, including a variety of state-owned banks,
corporations and private companies.
While of varied opinion and perspective, this collection of 3 articles
demonstrates that China is set to take a significant place in the future
of South Sudan’s peace and development. Although a highly
context-specific case, how Chinese actors continue to adapt and learn
from engaging in South Sudan will likely inform their approaches in
other conflict affected states, both in and beyond the African
continent. Pragmatic and ad hoc practices, especially when repeated,
have a tendency to become established policy. As such, the world’s
youngest country may still hold lessons for one of the world’s oldest
and largest powers.
Kuo, S.C.; Barber, L.; Xiao, YuHua; Wheeler, T. China and South Sudan. Saferworld Briefing August 2012. Saferworld, London, UK (2012) 12 pp.