Publications of Daniel Large
China’s Growing Involvement in Chad: Escaping Enclosure?
Relations between Chad and China have expanded and deepened since diplomatic ties were resumed in August 2006. Growing links have been underpinned by Chinese oil development operations, epitomised by the Rônier refinery project. This symbolises China's ascendancy in Chad following N'Djamena's rejection of its relations with the World Bankled Chad–Cameroon pipeline project. Despite recent turbulence, oil investment looks set to play the key part in China's continuing engagement in Chad and enhance the potential for stimulating economic growth, despite severe constraints and ongoing challenges. By investing in a refinery, and dealing with N'Djamena in a different way from the conditionality heavy approach of recent Western engagement, China has embarked on an innovative intervention of increasing importance in Chad. This is seen in the appropriation of China by the Chadian leadership under President Idriss Déby as a means to promote a range of social goals related to the domestic political objectives of his regime. However, tensions remain within the terms of the newly forged partnership. Whether China can follow through on and sustain its present engagement, and enable Chad to escape its historical confinement amidst chronic underdevelopment and protracted insecurity, remains to be seen.
Between the CPA and Southern independence: China’s post-conflict engagement in Sudan
As a defining Chinese engagement in Africa, much attention has been devoted to China's role over Darfur and Sudan's other conflicts. Much less has been paid to China's role in post-conflict reconstruction and development. The paper explores the main areas of China's engagement in Sudan during the North–South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between 2005 and 2011. It pays particular attention to the evolution of China's relations with Southern Sudan. China's diplomatic–political engagement in the latter stages of the CPA represented a notable evolution beyond a narrowly bilateral, predominantly economic engagement. China's engagement in Sudan during the CPA is essential to understanding Beijing's relations with the two Sudans, and the ongoing combination ofpolitical, economic and security challenges it faces and is caught up within.
China’s exceptionalism and the challenges of delivering difference in Africa
This article explores the notion of ‘China’s exceptionalism’ in Africa, a prominent feature in Beijing’s current continental and bilateral engagement. ‘China’s exceptionalism’ is understood as a normative modality of engagement that seeks to structure relations such that, though they may remain asymmetrical in economic content they are nonetheless characterised as equal in terms of recognition of economic gains and political standing (mutual respect and political equality). This article considers the burden that the central Chinese government has assumed through its self-construction and mobilisation of a position of exceptionalism and, concurrently, the imperatives that flow from such rhetorical claims of distinctiveness in terms of demonstrating and delivering difference as a means to sustain the unity and coherence of these rhetorical commitments.
China’s Sudan engagement: changing Northern and Southern political trajectories in peace and war
China has developed a more consequential role in Sudan over the past two decades, during which it has become bound up in the combination of enduring violent internal instability and protracted external adversity that has characterized the politics of the central state since the 1989 Islamist revolution. Two inter-related political trajectories of China’s Sudan engagement are examined here. The first concerns Beijing’s relations with the ruling National Congress party in incorporating China into its domestic politics and foreign relations amidst war in Darfur, to which Beijing has responded through a more engaged political role. The second confronts the practical limitations of China’s sovereignty doctrine and exclusive reliance upon relations with the central state. Following the peace agreement of 2005 that ended the North–South war, and motivated by political imperatives linked to investment protection concerns, China has developed new relations with the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan, thus seeking to position itself to navigate Sudan’s uncertain political future.
Beyond ‘Dragon in the Bush’: the study of China-Africa relations
In the wake of China's Year of Africa in 2006, China–Africa relations are currently the subject of unprecedented attention. However, although those relations are widely covered they are also under-researched. This article offers an introduction to China–Africa relations, covering background to the history and politics of Chinese involvement in the continent and identifying areas of further research. It concludes by calling for the study of China–Africa relations to develop a culture of serious research beyond current ‘dragon in the bush’ preoccupations and so engage a complex subject that is about to become a mainstream issue in African politics.
China and the contradictions of ‘non-interference’ in Sudan
The core Chinese foreign policy principle of non-interference has recently come under increasing and more visible strain in China's relations with Sudan. Noninterference has been central to Beijing's relations with different governments in Khartoum since 1959. From the mid-1990s, however, the Chinese role in Sudan has become more embedded and consequential. Today China faces the challenge of accommodating its established policy of non-interference with the more substantive and growing complexity of Chinese involvement developed over the past decade in Sudan, amidst ongoing conflict in western Darfur and changing politics after the North-South peace agreement of January 2005.
China and the changing context of development in Sudan
Daniel Large looks at China's relationship with Sudan. He suggests that by far the most significant and consequential area where China has and will continue to impact on Sudan is oil. After under a decade as an oil exporter, northern Sudan's current oil-fuelled economic growth is primarily benefitting an elite but is indicative of the underlying evolution in the basis of resource extraction and associated politics. This threatens to develop in a manner that departs from previous periods of Sudanese history in terms of the opportunities oil revenue presents for the ruling elite in Sudan. The outstanding question for Sudan is the developmental implications of petro-politics on the Nile and the spectre of an emerging resource curse scenario.