Angola – China Talks Intensify on Strategic Partnership, Oil Exploration

On March 17, Angolan President João Lourenço ended a three-day visit to China. In Beijing, Lourenço met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the occasion was marked by the announcement of a strengthened global strategic partnership and closer bilateral relations. This includes cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and development initiatives, such as the China-led Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). In addition, the leaders agreed that “changes in the world are happening, so acceleration and true multilateralism are needed.”

Xi Jinping, as reported by China’s Xinhua News Agency, explained that “China-Angolan cooperation is South-South cooperation and cooperation among developing countries. This is defined as mutual aid between good friends, reciprocity, and mutually beneficial cooperation.”

After decades of civil war that ended in 2002, China invested heavily in the African country, contributing significantly to its reconstruction, with Beijing becoming today Angola’s main creditor.

More specifically, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will participate in negotiations for oil exploration in Angola, a country whose productivity in the oil and gas sector is also declining due to aging infrastructure and lack of investment over the years. Angola also withdrew from OPEC in early 2024. Thus, the goal is to strengthen energy relations with China, which, as mentioned, is a creditor country and could become a key market for oil exports.