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.