China Rethinking Darfur Role

A few days after Amnesty International blasted China for refusing to assist efforts to halt and disarm Janjaweed militias that are wrecking havoc in Darfur, the Chinese government indicated a new willingness to take some positive action. China currently is a major customer for Sudan’s oil exports and is trying to increase flow of oil from that source. But Chinese envoy, Liu Guijin, said his government was prepared to play “a more constructive role in Darfur and to provide more humanitarian and development help for the Darfurian people.”

I suspect there is something behind this new willingness to play a “constructive role.” The reality is that while America is bogged down in Iraq, the Chinese have been actively establishing business and cultural connections all over Africa. But for the Chinese government, the Olympic games of 2008 is among its highest priorities. It hopes the Olympics will bring China into a central role in the world and show off its nation to millions of visitors. There have been recent rumblings by many people connected to the Olympic games concerning possibility of calling for a boycott to protect Chinese inaction in Darfur. The good news is that China will be cooperative for the coming year. After that, I suspect business will resume its role as number one in priorities.
Information from The Guardian, Nigeria

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