The Implications of China’s Increased Involvement in Africa: An Economic, Political and Cultural Analysis

Robert O'Brien


Twenty years ago, the People’s Republic of China was East Asia’s largest oil exporter. Today, it is the world’s second largest importer. Beginning in 1993, China became a net importer of oil, a status that is not likely to change in the foreseeable future, with analysts positing that “oil will be the only primary fuel capable of fulfilling China’s growing needs in both transportation and industry.” As China’s economy surges forward, growing by double-digits the past several years, the nation’s dependence on oil and, consequently, its demand for the energy resource has grown exponentially. With the country transitioning away from the use of coal, daily oil consumption doubled over the course of the last ten years. In the future, experts expect demand for the good to continue growing, predicting an increase of 130 percent by 2025. Such an increase comes on top of an already substantial demand for the good, one that is equal to 40 percent of the world’s total. 

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