Snippets from an opinion piece
entitled "Digging for misery" by Tom Harper at Guardian's Comment is free May 12, 2006:
Sudan's oil has fuelled much of the country's desctruction. Its profits block the chance of many of its refugees returning home.
The Chinese economy is now growing at around 10% a year and needs feeding. Zhu Weilie, the director of Middle East and African studies at Shanghai International says: "Oil from Sudan makes up one-tenth of all of China's imported oil ... if we lose this source, how can we find another market to replace it? China has to balance its interests."
Corporation (CNPC), which produces 300,000 barrels a day; is involved in construction projects all over the country; and sells arms to the Khartoum government (one recent reported purchase of Shenyang fighter planes came to $100 million). All in all, China has invested roughly $2bn in Sudan over the last ten years.
China's economic ties to Khartoum have hindered international action on the matter. Since 2004 China, a permanent member of the UN security council, has abstained on six resolutions including one last month that, for the first time, imposed sanctions on four Sudanese accused of atrocities in Darfur, and another last March that proposed an oil embargo, cutting off at source the strongest card the Sudanese government can play.