Much less has been paid to China’s role in post-conflict reconstruction and development. The paper explores the main areas of China’s engagement in Sudan during the North–South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between 2005 and 2011. It pays particular attention to the evolution of China’s relations with Southern Sudan. China’s diplomatic–political engagement in the latter stages of the CPA represented a notable evolution beyond a narrowly bilateral, predominantly economic engagement. China’s engagement in Sudan during the CPA is essential to understanding Beijing’s relations with the two Sudans, and the ongoing combination of political, economic and security challenges it faces and is caught up within.