Tue 26 Feb 2008
The pressure is working!! Let’s keep it up.
From the New York Times:
China has begun shifting its position on Darfur, stepping outside its diplomatic comfort zone to quietly push Sudan to accept the world’s largest peacekeeping force, diplomats and analysts say.
It has also acted publicly, sending engineers to help peacekeepers in Darfur and appointing a special envoy to the region who has toured refugee camps and pressed the Sudanese government to change its policies.
Few analysts expect China to walk away from its business ties to Sudan, but its willingness to take up the issue is a rare venture into something China swears it never does — meddle in the internal affairs of its trading partners.
This is a very good step for China. I won’t say it is enough and time will tell if it is mere lipservice, but baby steps are good!
I found this part of the article very interesting:
“Coming to some sort of agreement with the United States is the Holy Grail of Sudanese politics,” said a senior Western diplomat in Khartoum, who was not authorized to speak publicly. “No one has been able to deliver it.”
This holds true though Sudan is awash in investments from Asia and the gulf that would, in theory, allow the oil-rich but development-poor country to prosper more broadly than it has despite American opprobrium.
American approval and acceptance would transform Sudan in a way the billions of dollars from China, India, Malaysia, Iran and the gulf have been unable to: by opening the spigots of Western development aid and with it a deal to reduce its nearly $30 billion in external debt, along with technical assistance to manage the tide of money rushing in.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has been very hesitant to take much action, despite having such a large role in ending the civil war between North and South.
It is definitely a mixed bag of how to end the terrible genocide, but it is pretty clear that China needs to be a major role in the solution as does the United States.