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One China, Two Sudans? Sovereignty, self-determination and the 'referendum for freedom'

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sharath Srinivasan.

Daniel Large is research director of the Africa Asia Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He is also a Research Associate with the South African Institute of International Affairs, and founding director of the Sudan Open Archive (www.sudanarchive.net).

One China, two Sudans? Sovereignty, self-determination and the ‘referendum for freedom’

This seminar will examine the Chinese engagement in Sudan in relation to the current politics of Southern self-determination, a right to be exercised via a referendum scheduled for January 2011. Since 2005, China has adapted to Sudan’s North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s ‘one Sudan, two systems’ framework by developing dual-track engagements: maintaining good relations with the ruling National Congress Party in Northern Sudan, while at the same time improving relations with the Government of Southern Sudan in a forward looking manner. China has followed a necessary hedging strategy by establishing quasi-diplomatic relations with the Government of Southern Sudan, thereby allowing for a possible formal upgrading of diplomatic relations should the South vote to secede. This engagement with Southern Sudan marks a major policy shift away from previous practice of exclusively recognising and dealing with the sovereign central government in Khartoum. Such adaptation to political developments in Sudan, however, does not leave China invulnerable to present uncertainties concerning the country’s potential spilt.

This talk is part of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights Events series.

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