Title page for ETD etd-09212010-192011

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Olivier, Nicolaas Johannes Jacobus
URN etd-09212010-192011
Document Title The impact of China’s need for sustained access to oil resources on post-comprehensive peace agreement Sudan and Southern Sudan
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof H Solomon Supervisor
  • comprehensive
  • foreign policy
  • oil
  • natural resources
  • energy
  • Sudan
  • Africa
  • China
  • peace agreement
  • economic nationalism
  • secession
Date 2010-09-03
Availability unrestricted

This dissertation focuses on the impact of China’s need for sustained access to oil resources in post-Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) Sudan and Southern Sudan. Applying an integrated conceptual framework (a combination of economic nationalism and Daniel Yergin’s three themes in which the political narratives of oil are grounded), China’s domestic drivers can be identified as the augmentation and security of national power, economic growth and autonomy, modernisation and substantial industrialisation. In order to fulfil these aims, China has a great need for natural resources, especially oil. A prime example of China’s pursuit of sustained access to oil resources is its involvement in the greater Sudan. As a result of the vast amounts of oil, as well as the absence of western competition, Sudan became an obvious choice for China. As a result of the signing of the CPA in 2005, China has had to adjust its principle of upholding formal state sovereignty (and its exclusive relationship with Sudan (Khartoum)), which practically means that it can engage with Southern Sudan (most importantly to secure its vast oil interests in the region). Evidence presented in this dissertation would suggest that it is likely that the greater Sudan is descending towards a possible violent breakup - the main reason being that the CPA has not been fully implemented, largely as a result of Sudan’s (Khartoum) attempts to stall and/or derail the CPA to continue its control over oil resources and the subordination of Southern Sudan. China is arguably the only state that has positive relations with, and substantial influence in, both Sudan (Khartoum) and (albeit to a lesser extent) Southern Sudan. Taking into account that the establishment of a context conducive to stability and peace in the greater Sudan is in its best strategic interest, China has a responsibility (to itself as well as to the greater Sudan) to bring Sudan (Khartoum) and Southern Sudan to the table to negotiate the most pressing issues. It can use its position as most important investor and importer of Sudanese oil to apply pressure on both sides to reach agreements on key outstanding matters, as well as to establish a framework for the road ahead. Even though China is in some circles regarded as Africa’s new colonising power, and even though there are many negative connotations attached to China’s modus operandi on the continent, it now has both the opportunity and the ability to use its influence to help bring about lasting peace to a country devastated by decades of civil war.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Olivier, NJJ 2010, The impact of China’s need for sustained access to oil resources on post-comprehensive peace agreement Sudan and Southern Sudan, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09212010-192011/ >


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