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Posts Tagged ‘Beijing

Sudan’s Al-Bashir Indicted. Time to Save Darfur.

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tispdarfur2

Human rights isn’t exactly China’s strong suit, so their exhortation to the UN to back off the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for the war-crimes arrest of Sudan’s President Al-Bashir seems pretty much par for the course. China’s in deep in Sudan, as they are all over Africa spreading around their wealth and patronage and laying waste to the land.

Chinese style colonialism is very much your run of the mill old-school exploitation without the actual raising the flag bit (it’s always the silly part that really pisses off the locals). Their MO? Bribe the hell out of the government, bosses and warlords, put some personnel with big smiles and bigger wallets on the ground and grab every shred of natural resources they can get their hands on. So far the world has been far too preoccupied with other issues like our Iraq disaster and the small matter of the economic meltdown to get a bead on China’s resource-grab, but as of today that might just change.

If nothing else China’s very loyal to Al-Bashir. Not many world powers are going to back a guy indicted on charges of genocide. But China’s sticking its neck out for this guy even though from a PR perspective it seems like a bad idea. Of course, the Chinese don’t do anything without a damn good reason, and that reason usually has to do an awful lot with money. Perhaps the alternative to Al-Bashir is less China friendly, but whatever Beijing’s motivation, China has the ability to neuter the arrest warrant by vetoing it as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. If they do they run the risk of becoming indelibly linked to the Darfur genocide, and not in a good way.

That possibility opens up some interesting avenues for the United States. As the State Department looks to recalibrate our relationship with China – and stop them loading the dice in their favor, this Al-Bashir moment might just give us the focus we need. As mentioned on this blog a number of times, China is our number one adversary, and we need a much more forthright policy that emphasizes what America needs out of the relationship rather than merely what China can offer us. A big part of the problem we face with Beijing is China’s virtual invasion of Africa which has gone on uncontested for far too long. It’s time to shine some light on it, challenge it, and most importantly do what should have been done years ago – use US military forces to stop the genocide in Darfur.

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Time For A Change – China Policy

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tiananmen

has china really changed that much?

Sometimes it takes an aging rock band to make a great point. Take Guns n’ Roses new album, its first for seventeen years. The band’s insightful leader created a fabulous oxymoron, bringing together the words “Chinese” and “Democracy” for it’s title. Now that’s comedy.

The Chinese authorities did what they always do in these situations and censored everything about the album they could get away with at the same time as lashing out at the band for its insulting stance on the People’s Republic. How dare some old rock stars attack China’s non-democracy?

But does the vast plastic toy police state protesteth just a little too much? The irony seems completely lost on most of the world’s leaders, who are busy toadying to the Chinese to keep them buying the mountain of freshly issued Western debt. The British have backtracked on their decades-long fudge about Chinese control of Tibet to appease Beijing, and America, which has been pushing democracy like Avon pushes makeup is simply too scared to issue any kind of statement about censorship or human rights abuses in China. We allowed them into the World Trade Organization even though they brazenly broke its rules before and after they joined. Slowly but surely, we seem to be handing China superpower status on a plate. Another word for it is appeasement. And just like back in Munich in 1938, it strikes me as a very bad idea. Read the rest of this entry »