Tuesday, June 05, 2007
China & Darfur Environment Different From U.S. and Iraq
There are aggressive calls from certain factions in the West to 'force' China to put pressure on Sudan to end the genocide in Darfur. As much as we want to end the insanity in Darfur, China will not initiate a fight with a supplier. China is only interested in the oil and not the internal politics of Sudan (or any other country). Sudan exports about 300,000 barrels of oil each day (CIA Factbook). China knows that sanctions and embargoes could end China's direct access to much needed oil. China is also importing resources from several African countries, such as Nigeria, and does not get involved in their internal politics either. They just want the resources with minimal intrusion. China probably knows that if they get in for a penny it could lead to getting in for a pound (like us in Iraq). So China punts and says the United Nations should solve any such conflicts.
It appears that the same people calling on China to do more to save Darfur are the same people opposing our intervention in Iraq. Did sanctions stop Iraq from selling oil? No. And they will not stop Sudan. Why would China voluntarily give up direct access to the oil it needs for a symbolic action that would be inconsequential? And they know they might not win in the competition to get the oil through the back door. Moreover, China does not have a history of invading other countries for any reason. Basically, the Chinese are only interested in expanding their super power status (they are using the 'developing nation' moniker to their advantage). One thing is certain, although the environment in Darfur is despicable, do not look to China for a solution. The only nation-building they are going to do is their own. And if you do not want us in Iraq, do not tell President Bush or Chinese President Hu Jintao to go nation-build in Sudan.