Multi-track Diplomacy in China-Sudan Energy Relations

Abstract

In January 2011, South Sudan voted overwhelmingly in a referendum for independence and the partition of Sudan took place in July 2011. The post-split environment did not bring the anticipated peace as the sides failed to agree on a number of outstanding territorial disputes. On the surface, the disputes are centered on the oil fields across the border upon which both sides claim sovereignty and the issue of transporting the extracted oil through the pipeline to the port in the North for export. However, the causal relationship between economic interests and deeper sociocultural and political enmities is obvious. It follows that, China, the largest investor in Sudan’s energy sector, has a unique challenge to engage both sides and protect its energy interests. It is believed that traditional diplomacy in Sudan fails to address the question of Sudan-South Sudan dispute. Rather, China needs to develop a multi-track engagement in both Sudans. This study examines the impact of the partition of Sudan on China’s energy policy in the North and South Sudan. More specifically, it empirically focuses on the question of how Beijing could manage a multi-track diplomacy to bring the two sides together and what leverages it may have on both governments to be able to execute such a policy. Applying multi-track diplomacy model to the ongoing crisis, this paper aims to discuss the strategies Beijing may take as the North and the South negotiate over their disagreements so that a functioning China-Sudan-South Sudan trilateral relationship would be established and maintained.



Author Information
Serafettin Yilmaz, National Chengchi University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSS2013
Stream: Social Sciences

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