中共由於人口與經濟之快速增長，加以能源使用欠缺效率，自一九九三年起必須嚴峻面對石油供給問題，一九九六年起又成為原油淨進口國，預估至二０一０年，此一石油供給缺口將擴大至每日三百萬桶左右，約佔全部消費總量的百分之四十五，石油供給問題已達影響中共國家安全程度。非洲在油源供給方面，恰可滿足中共相當程度的需求。非洲已成為大陸近四分之一進口原油來源，尤其是中共在蘇丹的油田投資更為大陸提供了其在海外自有油田總產量的百分之五十。中共在非洲（特別是蘇丹）爭取油源的案例充份顯示出中共石油外交新面貌：為了取得石油之穩定供應來源，外交必須與各類可能之手段交互結合運作。石油議題已是中共外交戰略中重要因素之一，中共也不惜為蘇丹等受國際社會排斥之國家代言，以聯結彼此利益，俾利用西方石油集團缺席的條件下取得該等國家之油源，此一行為模式形成雙方「既是主顧又是盟友」的複合關係，成為後冷戰時期中共外交政策中值得關注的新興現象與變數。 Since 1993, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) encountered a serious oil supply problem because of its rapid economic and population growth and its inefficient use of energy. After 1996, the PRC became a net importer of crude oil. It is forecasted that the gap between oil supply and demand in China will reach 3 million b/d in 2010. This oil deficit has national security implications for China. Africa can help mitigate this situation for China. Presently, Africa supplies 25% of China’s crude oil imports. Chinese investment in Sudan’s oil fields already represents 50% of the production among the overseas sources that the PRC owns. China’s oil exploration and exploitation (especially in Sudan) shows an angle of China’s diplomacy: in order to obtain the stable source of crude oil, all necessary means should be mobilized. This energy factor forms an important element of China’s diplomatic strategy. Thus, at times, the PRC plays a role of political advocate for some rogue states such as Sudan in the international community with the objective to converge the interests of both counties to make them mutually beneficial. Through these relationships, the PRC is able to take advantage of Western oil companies’ absence and gain an opportunity for further oil supplies. This approach is a result of a complex relationship of client and ally. It is a new phenomenon of Chinese foreign policy in the post-cold war era.