Forum: Security and engagement: the case of China and South Sudan

  • Ross Anthony Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch University
  • Jiang Hengkun Institute of African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University


As Chinese engagement in Africa grows, questions surrounding its role in security have become more prominent. The issue of security is a broad one ranging from China’s role in regional security with international organisations to the role of se-curing assets and personnel. This forum piece addresses some of these concerns, with a particular focus on South Sudan. While the Chinese state has been relative-ly adept at establishing ties with Africa’s newest country, due to China’s previous close relationship with the Khartoum regime (an enemy of the South), friction has persisted. This is particularly evident at the level of everyday Chinese-South Suda-nese engagement, which is fraught with security risks. The piece describes some of these issues by drawing on fieldwork observations and interviews conducted in April 2013, eight months before the country lapsed back into civil war.