Monday, February 05, 2007

Sudan's Bashir denies Chinese pressure on Darfur

Sudanese President is convinced China has never been, will never be tool for US pressure on Sudan - see Middle East Online today: Beshir denies Chinese pressure on Darfur - excerpt:
"The Chinese president did not convey any US demands on the situation in Darfur during his recent state visit to the Sudan," Beshir told the independent Al-Sudani daily.

Beshir said that during their meeting last Friday, Hu had asked him to "continue implementing the Abuja agreement and working to improve the situation on the ground".

Hu :renewed his commitment to offering full support to my government to enable it to implement its declared Darfur programme, particularly after he was briefed on our position which advocates dialogue and a peaceful settlement".

"Our conviction is that China has never been and will never be a tool for US pressure on Sudan," Beshir told Al-Sudani.

Washington -- which accuses the Sudanese regime of genocide in Darfur -- sent envoy Andrew Natsios to Beijing last month to seek increased diplomatic coordination with Khartoum's key ally.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As the Chinese have said on several occassion - 'Business is business'. This is more than a statement of policy regarding Sudan, it is public diplomacy directed at all of their current and potential African trading partners.

China's stance of avoiding involvement in the politics of business partners has given them a competative advantage in areas in which they are not technically or economically competative. The oil sector in Sudan is a perfect example of this - by refusing to engage in political discussions with Sudan they have been able win concessions with what is an immature oil exploration and extraction industry. It is widely known that Sudan could have extracted significantly more oil, more quickly had they partnered up with Western companies. In this situation China's avoidance of politics has allowed them to learn by doing and improve their extractive sectors - the cost for the Sudanese has been high.

This deal is similar for many of Chinese business partners - I believe that China's problem is not simply that they are self-interested to the point of disregard for human life, I think that the party fears that if they shift away from their 'no politics' stance publicly in Sudan they risk their current and future relationships with other countries. As a result, I think Bashir is probably right that China will not back down.