由於中東產油國的紛擾不斷，非洲豐富的石油儲量成為了中國石油開發戰略的新焦點。中國以第三世界領導人的姿態，透過「南南合作」的戰略框架及中非合作論壇的合作平台與非洲國家展開了全面性的合作計畫。藉著無條件的經濟援助與不干涉的政治承諾，中非合作的成功使得中國取代歐美國家成為對非洲事務最具影響力的行為者。經由開發非洲石油，中國與非洲的經貿合作發展快速，中國在非洲實施「走出去」的石油開發戰略更是在蘇丹獲得相當顯著的成果。如今非洲已成為中國石油進口的穩定來源，但在中國在非洲的影響力也讓其在處理非洲事務上需要背負更多的責任，國際輿論更出現了對中國在非洲實施新殖民主義的指控，為中國在非洲的石油外交蒙上一層陰影。 Petroleum is the engine of China’s economic development through its major push for industrialization. In 1993, China became a net oil importer for the very first time and the second largest oil consumer and the third oil importer by 2003. The sharp increase of oil consumption pressured China to expand its oil policy to the outside world; energy security, therefore, plays a key role in China’s foreign strategy. With the oil price repeatedly breaking new record, the threats of terrorism and the influences of never-ceasing regional conflicts, China’s economy is encountering a huge challenge at the beginning of 21st century. To insure the stability of oil import, China is compelled to properly utilize its national power and diplomatic tactics.
China’s most recent oil development strategy focused on Africa since the Middle East has always been in turmoil. As the leader of the Third World, China cooperates with African countries through the framework of “South-South Cooperation” and the construction of the “Forum on China-Africa Cooperation”. Through unconditional loans and non-interference commitment, China has replaced the U.S. and become the most powerful actor on African issues. The economic ties between China and African countries grow stronger through the African oil development, and the achievement of China’s “going-out strategy” is also prominent, especially in Sudan. Now Africa is already a stable oil import resource for China, and China as a result shares more responsibility on African agenda thanks to its great influence on this continent. International critics even accuse China of being a new colonist in Africa, which has put a shadow on China’s foreign relations on the international stage.