News / Africa

China Navigates Delicate Balance Between Two Sudans

South Sudan mapSouth Sudan map
x
South Sudan map
South Sudan map
Kelly J. Kelly
China has been playing a delicate game of balancing alliances between Khartoum and Juba, especially now as the two countries try to settle their differences over oil fees once and for all. China watchers say that its role in the negotiations mark a change in the developing giant’s foreign policy, and may mark the beginning of a bigger shift across Africa.

Deborah Brautigam, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, has been studying China’s role in Africa for over thirty years. She says she’s been closely monitoring Chinese diplomats during the talks between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa this summer.

 “Sudan is fascinating because it’s a good example of how China is getting pushed out of its comfort zone in its non-interference policy. You can see that in trying to broker this recent agreement. They’ve had their first special envoy -- shuttle diplomacy. The Chinese never did that before.”

Brautigam explains that China’s usual foreign policy is governed by five principles of peaceful co-existence. One of those principles is that China doesn’t interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, like Sudan and South Sudan. But she says two factors are changing China’s behavior. The first is the need for natural resources for their rapidly growing economy.

 “It’s not only for their own development. They’re also the workshop for the world. [The things they sell] have to be made with resources that come from somewhere to export things to the US and to Europe. To secure those supplies, they realize they need to get more involved in helping to ensure areas are stable and peaceful. Not something they can just sit back and allow others always to take the role.”

The second factor is politics. Brautigam says China wants to be seen as a responsible player on the world stage. A former U-S ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, points out that China also has a particular—and significant—stake in getting the oil flowing again.

 “China has a huge vested interest in this. This is oil that goes through pipelines that they built, and most of it goes to China.”

If what these experts say is true, it’s unlikely that China would help fund a second oil pipeline out of South Sudan that bypasses Sudan, as some have hoped.

 “I’m sure that is what they said to Kiir when he was visiting Beijing in April. They said we can offer you a very large package.  You can repay it with your oil revenues in the future. But use it for the things you need domestically, for your own infrastructure. Don’t use it to build another pipeline that would be stupid.”

 Professor Brautigam says South Sudan—and other African countries—can benefit from China’s brand of foreign aid, which often comes in the form of a secured loan.
 “They think that foreign aid, particularly from developing countries to other developing countries, should benefit both partners. And they see nothing to apologize for [about] that.”

In the past, the Chinese have created loan packages in countries like Ghana, which repaid the money in cocoa beans, and Ethiopia, which repaid it in sesame exports, and even in Sudan, where a Chinese loan repaid in oil helped the country build a refinery. These kinds of arrangement are the kinds of win-wins Brautigam says the Chinese are good at, and likely planning to create in South Sudan, too.

Listen to Nuxoll story on China and the Sudans
Listen to Nuxoll story on China and the Sudansi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: AReader from: Calif
August 24, 2012 12:36 PM
“I’m sure that is what they said to Kiir when he was visiting Beijing..."


You needn't put your guess work in here, as there already existed several reports on that matter. It's simply confirmed in Chinese journalism, actually Kiir was so unhappy he trimmed his trip in China. A professor so much misinformed/ill-informed can not afford do anything close to what she called "closely monitoring". I would suggest her to try to learn Chinese first, or simply stay away from any topics involving China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid