Non-Interference in China's Africa Policy: The Case Study of Sudan


This study aims to look at the evolving nature of non-interference in China's Africa policy. This involves looking at the non-interference principle specifically in Beijing's policies by analyzing China's role in the Sudan civil war 1983 to 2005 and the Darfur crisis. The non­ interference principle as contained in the policies of the African Union and United Nations has gradually shifted away from strict non-interference towards non-indifference and humanitarian intervention. Beijing's traditional understanding of non-interference, on the other hand, is based on respect for the sovereignty of other states and a belief that, unless requested, no state should interfere in the domestic affairs of another state. Today China faces the challenge of accommodating its established policy of non-interference with the complex relationship it has developed with Sudan in the past decade. This relationship has been complicated by the civil war that led to the cessation and creation of South Sudan and the Darfur Crisis. In its association with Khartoum, Beijing initially adhered to its traditional understanding of non-interference, in spite of criticism that its behavior was based solely on its own interests. China initially ignored international expctations to meddle in the affairs of Khartoum. In fact, Beijing continued to support Khartoum and abstained from UN Security Council resolutions on the matter of Darfur on various occasions while it was accused of fuelling the civil war by supplying weapons to Sudan. However, Beijing gradually shifted on its non-interference policy seen in its pressure on ,aiartoum to assent to the CPA and allow the AU/UN hybrid peacekeeping force in the case of Darfur. The reasons for the shift are ascribed to various factors ranging from China's emerging power, international pressure and even the possible reputational risk. China managed to balance its economic and political interests in Sudan with its duties and expectations of the Security Council. At the same time, Beijing continued to protect the sovereignty of the Khartoum government by adhering to its beliefs of the right of the state. The subtle shift away from Beijing's conventional understanding of non-interference can be seen as China changing its non-interference doctrine to suit its new role in the international community. It can also be seen as China still adhering to the non-interference doctrine, as it places emphasis on avoiding sanctions and still requires permission from the host state for external intervention. Another key element is that it adapted when its interests were at risk. It would seem probable that this trend will continue, resulting rather in Beijing implementing hands-on non-interference as situations or conditions demand. Such a position would indicate a shift in the doctrine of non-interference based on the situation and pressure, but according to certain core values of Beijing.
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Catherine, A (2024). Non-Interference in China's Africa Policy: The Case Study of Sudan. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Catherine, Amenya "Non-Interference in China's Africa Policy: The Case Study of Sudan" Afribary. Afribary, 03 May. 2024, Accessed 30 May. 2024.


Catherine, Amenya . "Non-Interference in China's Africa Policy: The Case Study of Sudan". Afribary, Afribary, 03 May. 2024. Web. 30 May. 2024. < >.


Catherine, Amenya . "Non-Interference in China's Africa Policy: The Case Study of Sudan" Afribary (2024). Accessed May 30, 2024.