Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

The Political Ramifications of China’s Reduced Appetite for African Oil

File image of a man working in a filling station of Sinopec, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, in Shanghai. Johannes EISELE / AFP

News that two of China’s largest oil companies, Sinopec and CNPC, are going to scale down their presence in South Sudan provides the latest evidence of China’s waning appetite for African oil. 

This isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, Chinese demand for African oil has steadily declined for more than a decade. In 2008, three African countries made up a third of all Chinese imports. By 2018, according to George Washington University China-Africa scholar David Shinn, only one African country, Angola, was still a major source of oil for China, and it accounted for just 18% of its total imports.

Lead the Conversation on China

Subscribe Today to Get Full Access to The China-Global South Project

Check Out Everything You'll Get With Your Subscription

The China-Global South Daily Brief delivered to your inbox at 6AM Washington time

Full access to exclusive news and analysis from editors based in the Global South

Transcripts of CGSP’s twice-weekly podcasts

Students and teachers with a valid .edu email address are eligible for a 50% discount off monthly or yearly subscriptions. Email us to receive a discount code.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.