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From conflict resolution to conflict prevention: China in South Sudan


The responses of the UK and China to the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan at the end of 2013 highlighted the differences in engagement – and also how those responses were evolving. For countries such as the UK that have policies, strategies and operational experience on early warning, crisis response and conflict prevention, the civil war in South Sudan presented an opportunity to mobilise and review these approaches. However, for countries without such comprehensive tools, such as China, the experience has been more a process of ‘learning through doing’.

Despite some successes in the bilateral and multilateral efforts of international actors, they have largely failed to resolve or prevent conflict in South Sudan. It is important for those actors to reflect on the shortcomings of recent international engagement, using this learning to develop new approaches to support conflict resolution and long-term peacebuilding in South Sudan. This paper looks at the evolution of China’s relationship with Sudan and then South Sudan, focusing on the potential for the transition of Chinese engagement from reactive, short-term conflict resolution to longer-term conflict prevention.

The paper suggests potential entry points for cooperation between China and the UK that could provide mutual learning opportunities and ultimately lead to better collaboration in support of sustainable peace in South Sudan.

Conflict Prevention Working Group

Saferworld is working with partners in China, the UK and conflict-affected states to increase awareness and expertise on different approaches to conflict prevention, focusing on three main themes: early warning mechanisms, crisis response, and the root drivers of fragility and conflict. This work is facilitated by a Conflict Prevention Working Group (CPWG) composed of Chinese and UK policy experts, which is increasing understanding and creating opportunities for constructive dialogue on ways to prevent violent conflict and build stability overseas. In order to raise awareness of how China and the UK currently engage and cooperate conflict prevention efforts, Chinese and UK CPWG members are co-authoring a series of joint briefings. This is the first such briefing, authored by CPWG members Dr Zhang Chun (SIIS) and Mariam Kemple-Hardy (Oxfam International), focusing on crisis response in South Sudan.

Read From conflict resolution to conflict prevention: China in South Sudan.

Read more about our work on China.

Read more about our work on South Sudan and Sudan.








        更安全世界正与中国、英国以及受冲突影响的国家展开合作,希望增进各方对多种冲突预防策略的了解及相关方面的专业知识。工作的重点集中在以下三个方面:建立早期预警机制、应对危机以及探寻脆弱和冲突的根源。更安全世界组建了冲突预防工作组(Conflict Prevention Working Group, 简称CPWG),成员包括中英两国的政策专家。工作组致力于增进理解、为建设性对话创造机会,讨论如何防止海外暴力冲突、建立稳定局面。为了让更多人了解中英两国在预防冲突问题上的努力与合作,工作组成员联合撰写了一系列简报。本文即为第一篇简报,由上海国际问题研究院的张春博士和国际乐施会的玛利亚姆·肯浦尔·哈迪共同撰写,重点研究南苏丹的危机应对问题。

阅读《中国在南苏丹:从解决冲突到预防冲突 》



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Date: March 2015
Author: Zhang Chun, Mariam Kemple-Hardy
Publisher: Saferworld
Language: English, Chinese
Region: International
Country: China, UK, South Sudan, Sudan

With a growing presence worldwide, China now has greater potential to build ... early warning systems and to participate in existing local and international early warning and response systems.

Zhang Chun, Mariam Kemple-Hardy