China's oil diplomacy in Africa

Ian Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

282 Citations (Scopus)


Within the next five years, Chinese trade with Africa is predicted to reach $100 billion per year. Much of this springs from China's growing expansion into Africa's oil markets. It is argued that Chinese oil diplomacy in Africa has two main goals: in the short-term to secure oil supplies to help feed growing domestic demand back in China; and in the long-term, to position China as a global player in the international oil market. Yet at the same time, this oil safari is being accompanied by an explicit stance that emphasizes state sovereignty and 'non-interference' in domestic affairs and is wholly disinterested in transparency or human rights. Consequently, Beijing has increasingly been accused of turning a blind eye to autocracy and corruption. China is also threatening to undercut efforts by the African Union and its western partners to make government and business more accountable. While China is providing investment where little was previously forthcoming, concerns about Beijing's engagement with Africa's oil industries need to be resolved, not least by African leaders themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-959
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006




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