China and Sudan Darfur Crisis Term Paper

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(China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet). The types of arms that have been purchased by the Sudan from China since the 1990s include tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft as well as antipersonnel and antitank mines. There are many reports of the use of Chinese weapons in the ongoing struggle in the Sudan.

A according to a Sudanese government official. The SPLA in 1997 overran government garrison towns in the south, and in one town alone, Yei, a Human Rights Watch researcher saw eight Chinese 122 mm towed howitzers, five Chinese-made T-59 tanks, and one Chinese 37 mm anti-aircraft gun abandoned by the government army,,

China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet).

Other indications of the involvement and relationship between the two countries in terms of arms and weapons can be seen in the fact that China has aided Sudan in establishing three weapons manufacturing facilities in the country, which includes a facility for the assembly T-55 tanks. (China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet)

An important factor that adds to the complexity of the human rights issues is that China has established and maintains defense relationships with the Sudan. The significance of this is that this relationship is in defiance of a UN-imposed arms embargo against the country which has been in place for Darfur since 2005.

The other Ares of economic interrelationship between China include foreign investment and trade. Chins is Sudan's largest foreign investor and there are many Chinese firms who have interests in the energy-related sectors of the Sudanese economy. Chins is also Sudan's largest trading partner and Sudan accounts for 13% of China's total trade with Africa. (China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet)

Diplomat and political relationships

Diplomatic Bilateral ties exist between Beijing and Khartoum. This also includes high-level government visits and missions. An important aspect that reflects on the issue of human night and Chinese involvement or responsibility is that China insists in a policy of "non-interference" in Sudanese domestic issues. In other words, the diplomatic relationships between the two countries are not, according to the Chinese view, influenced by the human rights in the Sudan. This is an aspect that is at the centre of the controversy about China's involvement in the country and is related to the central question of whether China is to be held partly responsible for the genocide and human rights transgressions that are constantly reported. As will be discussed, the Chinese economic and military involvement in Sudan would seem to suggest that to a large extent they are responsible for much the conflict in the country - or that they at providing the means for the continuation of the conflict.

3. The question of Chinese responsibility for Darfur

The above analysis of the relationship China and Sudan leads to the central question of this paper: is China responsible for the continuation of the crisis in Darfur by its support for the Sudanese government? Two aspects should be considered in answering to this question. The first is the obvious fact that China supports the government of Sudan both militarily and economically in terms of trade agreements; as well as diplomatically and politically. To this extent, the argument can be made that as it has a very strong position from which it could have influenced and helped in stopping this genocidal conflict. The implied allegation is that China chooses not interfere for reasons of economic gain.

This argument has also to be considered in the light of a central aspect that emerges for the above analysis. This refers to the fact that China with growing population and economic requirements desperately needs resources; and that it has been forced to a certain extent by the dominance of powerful corporations to seek these resources in countries like Sudan. From this point-of-view China has seemingly little choice but to maintain a relationship with Sudan. However this argument does not effectively excuse it from a certain amount of complicity in the action of the Sudanese government.

An important aspect in terms of international relationships is that China has become one of the leading supporters of the Sudan at the United Nations. As one report contends, this factor is also "...the major impediment to strong UN Security Council action against the government of Sudan for its role in the mass killing and genocide in Darfur" (China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet). In other words, the allegation has been made that China is in fact preventing the cessation of the conflict by its support for the Sudanese government. One report also states,

China has succeeded in watering down or weakening several Security Council resolutions related to Darfur, including Resolution 1706, which authorized a robust peacekeeping force of 22,500 UN troops to protect civilians; China insisted this resolution be deployed only "with the consent" of Sudan.

China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet)

The international condemnation of China's role in the Darfur contact can be seen as being morally and ethically sustainable, even it one takes into account its economic dependent on the region.

3. Conclusion

Darfur has become a name that is synonymous with atrocity and the most severe breaches of human rights. China has constently accused in the Western media of, partnership of the world's fastest-growing oil consumer with a pariah state accused of fostering genocide in its western Darfur region. (Goodman). The fact and statistics leave little doubt that China is at least partly responsible for the situation in Darfur. However, what must also be taken into account and which is not always noted, is that China has a desperate need for resources to feed its growing economy.

Due to its influence in the region, China could be instrumental in reducing the conflict in the region. It has been suggested that it could play a constructive role in the region and positive action on the part of the Chinese government could alleviate the international pressure and condemnation of its involvement in the region. There are signs that China has already begun to realize this fact. There are reports of internal criticism of the relationship with the Sudanese at a " grassroots level" which has resulted in the 2008 summer games in Beijing being referred to as the "genocide Olympics." (Shaming China on Darfur) However, China's official stance remains that there is no evidence of any genocide in Darfur.

Works Cited

Calling on China: The China-Darfur Connection. December 2, 2007. http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2004/0805africa_cohen.aspx

China, Sudan and the Darfur Conflict Fact Sheet

http://www.savedarfur.org/pages/china_sudan_and_the_darfur_conflict_fact_sheet

Darfur: a genocide we can stop. December 3, 2007. http://www.darfurgenocide.org/

Goodman S. China Invests Heavily in Sudan's Oil Industry. December 2, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21143-2004Dec22.html

Shaming China on Darfur. December 2, 2007. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/31/opinion/edsudan.php

Sudan: Death Toll in Darfur.Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Washington, DC. 2005. December 3, 2007. http://www.state.gov/s/inr/rls/fs/2005/45105.htm[continue]

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