The claim by South Sudan’s president that the country’s northern neighbour has declared war on it is a troubling development for the region. However, it also offers China an opportunity to exert its influence. Relations between China and Sudan are generally good, and China has consistently supported the regime of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, including by opposing Bashir’s indictment by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. This closeness is in part based on the close economic ties that China has with Sudan, especially concerning oil and infrastructure projects. China’s media has noted that Chinese companies have a virtual monopoly on telecommunication projects in Khartoum, while China has relied on Sudan’s oil. And Beijing has been keen to continue close ties with recently created South Sudan.
China’s Sudan Opportunity