This paper offers a thematic analysis of the Chinese, Indian, Russian and Brazilian engagements since Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, with particular focus on the changing nature and trajectory of these relationships after the establishment of the two Sudans in July 2011. It first considers how relations changed during the CPA, which paved the way for the current ‘two states’ framework. Second, Sudan’s changing relations with China, and to a lesser extent India, is examined, taking in the deep roots of an economic partnership dating back to the 1990s and the oil boom that followed the creation of Sudan’s oil export industry, to the nature of wider economic ties, and political relations in the new Sudan created by South Sudan’s secession. Third, relations between these powers and the independent South Sudan are examined. Initial expectations about economic ties and developmental benefits have been upset by lingering political disputes and insecurity, as well as a deficit of governance capacity. The final section considers key ongoing themes and impacts.