How China’s evolving energy mix will impact its foreign policy in Africa


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Since 2008, China has been gradually shifting its oil procurement strategy away from Africa and toward producers in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. Today, Angola is the only African country on China’s list of top 10 suppliers. Security is one reason for the downturn in African oil exports to China. Beijing would much rather bring oil and gas overland from Russia rather than, as it currently does, through the Straits of Malacca, where its sea lanes are vulnerable in the event of a conflict with the United States.

Ultimately, China, like many countries, would prefer to reduce its dependence on imported energy and rely more on renewable sources like hydroelectric, solar, and wind power. And in terms of electrification, it’s well on its way. Last year, China generated about a quarter of its total output using renewables.

Ye Ruiqi closely follows the Chinese energy market as a Beijing-based climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia. She joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the country’s rapidly evolving energy landscape.