Richard at the Peking Duck helpfully reprints Nick Kristof’s condemnation of Chinese support of the genocidal regime in Sudan, and challenge for Chinese netizens.:
The biggest obstacle to forceful action is China. The latest outrage came a few days ago when the U.S. and Britain tried to impose the most feeble possible sanctions — targeting just four people, including a midlevel Sudanese official. China and Russia blocked even that pathetic action.
Why is China soft on genocide?
The essential reason is oil. China traditionally was self-sufficient in oil, but since 1993 it has been a net oil importer and it is increasingly worried about this vulnerability.
So China has been bustling around the globe trying to ensure oil supplies from as many sources as possible. And partly because most of the major oil fields are already taken, China has ended up with the world’s thugs: Sudan, Iran and Myanmar. China has been particularly active in Africa.
About 60 percent of Sudan’s oil flows to China, and Beijing has a close economic and even military relationship with Khartoum. A recent Council on Foreign Relations report on Africa notes that China has supplied Sudan with small arms, anti-personnel mines, howitzers, tanks, helicopters and ammunition. China has even established three arms factories in Sudan, and you see Chinese-made AK-47’s, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns all over Darfur.
Last month in a village on the Chad-Sudan border, I interviewed a man who told how a Sudanese militia had grabbed his baby boy, Ahmed Haroun, thrown Ahmed to the ground and shot him in the chest. The odds are overwhelming that that gun and those bullets came from China.
Likewise, the women and children I’ve seen torn apart by bullets in Darfur and Chad - that lead and steel was molded in Chinese factories. When women are raped and mutilated in Darfur, the gun barrels pointed at their heads are Made in China.
Let’s hope China’s 13 million bloggers take up this issue, for this has received very little attention in China but it is not so sensitive that discussion of it will get anyone arrested.
One of the central questions for the 21st century will be whether China’s rise will be accompanied by increasingly responsible behavior in its international relations. Darfur is a test, and for now China is failing.
Technorati Tags: asia, china, darfur, east asia, genocide, northeast asia
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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