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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

China and Sudan: The Drug dealer and his Protector

China has become a Sudan Protector, and and like a drug addicted strong man, It will protect its Thug drug supplier, no matter how destructive Sudan becomes. The drug in question is oil.

China this week announced a massive new oilfield. But, even though it may be largest find in its history, the entire field carries only a 3 year Chines supply, even at current usage levels, which expands every year. For every 100 liters of oil China burns, 40 must be bought from outside China. Enter Sudan, in the middle of genocide and atrocity, isolated, with few friends. So China has decided to become Sudan's protector.

China supported Sudan's refusal of more UN Forces to protect Darfur. Yet when the forces were agreed to by Sudan, China announced that it would be sending an Engineering Unit as part of the build up of forces.

This is not to say China has been a bad world citizen (in Africa - No emails, please, about Human Rights and religious persecution-we will save that for another day) According to the Atlantic Council in Washington DC, China Has been active in many African peace keeping situations, including:
  • UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), September
    1991–present, 214 military observers.

  • UN Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ), December 1992–December 1994,
    20 military observers.

  • UN Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL), September 1993–September
    1997, 33 military observers. They came back again in December 2003–present. China sent a peacekeeping force of 550 people to Libya at the request of UN special representative Clarke.

  • UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMISL), October 1999–present, 24
    military observers.

  • UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), October 2000–present, 15
    military observers.

  • UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC),
    April 2001–present, 20 military observers. They then sent an engineering company of 175 soldiers and a medical team of 43.

My point is that China and Sudan, like the US and Saudi Arabia, have a complex oil-laced relationship. China has never worried much about charges of human rights violations anyway.

That being said I am concerned about Chinese Engineers deploying to Sudan. When they deployed to Liberia, it was at the invitation of the UN. All other deployments as you can see above, were to send Advisers.

(Photo from UN Troops in Liberia)

Therefore, I expect Chinese Imperialism to be a growing factor in International Sudan relations.

Though China has an alleged non-interference policy with other countries, as they grow into their coming Superpower Role, Imperialism in Africa may be hard to resist, when a Thug Drug dealer is feeding your oil addiction.

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