China Claims Success on Darfur
دأبت الصين على ادعاء الأخلاق في علاقاتها الخارجية، ولكنه ادعاء زائف تخفي وراءه شرها أسوأ من شره "الإمبريالية الغربية". فعندما اضطرت شركة تاليمسان الكندية إلى الانسحاب من استثماراتها النفطية في جنوب السودان، تحت ضغط الرأي العام الغربي "الإمبريالي"، هرولت الصين مع ماليزيا والهند إلى شراء امتيازات تاليمسان. وجمعت الصين حوالي ألفين من المجرمين ومترددي السجون ودربتهم وأرسلتهم إلى السودان لحماية مواقع التنقيب. وكانت من أكبر مصدري الأسلحة لنظام الخرطوم. وظلت تدافع عنه "أو عن مصالحها في السودان في الواقع"، بينما تمارس الحكومة السودانية إبادة واسعة في الجنوب، ثم بعد ذلك في دارفور.
والحكومة الصينية في شرهها للمال لا تبالي بأي اعتبارات بيئية، وما يترتب على أنشطتها الاستثمارية من نتائج كارثية على البيئة. فهي قد فعلت ذلك في الصين نفسها، في كارثة السد المشهور. وتفعله الآن في السودان في دخولها في مشروع سد مروي وسد كجبار.
والأدهى والأمر أن هناك قوة إقليمية أخرى "شقيقة" تسيّر الحكومة السودانية المتهالكة كيفما تشاء في خدمة مصالحهاالاستراتيجية، دون أي مراعاة للقتل والتدمير والاغتصاب الذي يجري في السودان، ودون أي فطنة إلى أن ما تفعله هذه القوة في دفاعها عن عصابة الخرطوم سيؤدي حتما إلى تفكك السودان وزواله من الخريطة كبلد واحد. وربما تبني هذه القوة الإقليمية حساباتها على كل الاحتمالات الواردة، وتعمل على ضمان أن تكون رابحة في كل الأحوال.
الأن هناك رأي عالمي نشط يدعو إلى مقاطعة الألعاب الأولمبية التي ستجرى السنة المقبلة في الصين. وقد أتت تلك الحملة بعض نتائجها الإيجابية. وهذه دعوة إلى كل سوداني ناشط ويهمه أمر دارفور أن يشارك في حملة المقاطعة هذه..
وسنفرد لها بوستا منفردا، متمنين أن تكون هناك استجابة واسعة
أما القوة الإقليمية الأخرى الشقيقة، فربما ياتي يوم حسابها أو عتابها في آخر الدهر، عندما يستعيد الشعب السوداني سيادته ووحدته ويزيل الآثارة الوخيمة التي ستتركها الإنقاذ..
24 April 2007
China Claims Success on Darfur
Drafted By: Adam Wolfe
Amidst a flurry of diplomatic moves timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the failed Darfur peace agreement, Khartoum sent a letter to the U.N. secretary general accepting the "heavy support package" of an additional 3,000 troops to patrol its lawless western province. In effect, Sudan would be accepting the second phase of the U.N. Security Council's plan to replace the current African Union peacekeepers with a U.N.-led force.
While Washington and London are gearing up for stronger punitive actions against Sudan if Khartoum does not accept a larger U.N. force, or what the Bush administration has dubbed "Plan B," China has held several meetings with Sudanese officials, pushing for closer relations and a more "flexible" approach to Darfur. The Sino-Sudanese dialogue is exemplary of China's new approach to African issues that PINR described in February in which China has loosened it's "non-interference" policy in certain circumstances. [See: "China Adjusts its Approach in Africa"]
Whether or not Khartoum follows through and accepts U.N. forces is an open question, and many observers doubt that it is serious about letting in the blue helmets. However, with China able to claim success from its friendly approach at this juncture, further action at the Security Council will be difficult to muster in the coming months.
From China to Sudan, Some Advice from a Friend
It is still Beijing's preference not to comment on the domestic concerns of other states, but in situations where China's non-interference policy appears unsustainable, Beijing has begun to weigh in on the issues. In Darfur, Beijing does not believe that Khartoum's actions will lead to a resolution of the crisis, and this could potentially undermine China's investments in Sudan. This does not mean that China's interests are aligned with the West on the Darfur issue, but it does signal that China and Sudan are in a new phase in their relationship. [See: "Intelligence Brief: New Peace Deal in Sudan Unlikely to End Darfur Conflict"]
Chinese and Sudanese leaders have met on at least three occasions in the past three weeks. On all occasions, the main theme of the meetings was a pledge for closer military and government cooperation. During at least two of the meetings, however, Beijing reportedly told Khartoum that it should work with the United Nations to resolve the Darfur crisis.
From March 28-31, Nafi'a Ali Nafi'a, the deputy president of the Sudanese National Congress, visited China and met with officials, including Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Chinese officials praised Khartoum's efforts to resolve the Darfur issue, and seemed to blame the rebels' intransigence for the impasse in negotiations. "China appreciates the efforts made by the Sudanese side and related parties to promote the political solution to the Darfur issue," Tang Jiaxuan, a former foreign minister, told Nafi'a.
On April 4, Sudan's joint chief of staff, Haj Ahmed El Gaili, visited Beijing for discussions with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and other military officials as part of an eight-day tour of China. Cao pledged closer military relations with Sudan, saying that China was "willing to further develop cooperation between the two militaries in every sphere."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, however, also said that concerns about the Darfur crisis were raised with El Gaili. "China expressed its hope that Sudan can show more flexibility, and that all the parties will continue promoting the political process in the Darfur region," a Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters. Chinese officials also urged Khartoum to "strive to improve security and the humanitarian situation in Darfur."
On April 11, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun held a press conference in Beijing after meeting with President Omar al-Bashir and other Sudanese officials during his April 6-9 trip to Sudan. Zhai told reporters, "My main task during the visit [was]…urging the Sudanese side to show flexibility toward the Annan plan," referring to the staged implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706 endorsed by Kofi Annan, the previous U.N. secretary general. This was perhaps the strongest public rebuke of Khartoum's handling of the Darfur crisis by a Chinese official.
During his trip, however, Zhai also visited the Darfur region and judged that the situation was improving and "relatively stable," despite reports of atrocities in the days before and after his visit committed by the Janjaweed and rebel forces. In this way, Zhai demonstrated the limits of Chinese pressure. China fears that if U.N. forces enter Darfur without the consent of Khartoum, it could lead to the loss of Sudan's territorial integrity. Even worse, in Beijing's thinking, would be the precedent it would set that could be used against China in Xinjiang or Tibet.
These meetings follow Chinese President Hu Jintao's February visit to Khartoum, where he told al-Bashir, "Darfur is a part of Sudan and you have to resolve this problem." The reason China has adjusted its "non-interference" policy in Sudan is simply because maintaining that course appears untenable. [See: "China Adjusts its Approach in Africa"]
China would prefer to maintain its precedent of non-interference, and would have liked for al-Bashir's government to put down the Darfur rebellion by whatever means it deemed necessary. However, after years of failure from Khartoum to contain the Darfur crisis, Beijing now believes that the only way to maintain stability in the region is for outside powers to force a negotiated settlement. Still, while pushing for outside assistance in patrolling Darfur, Beijing has used every opportunity to reassure Khartoum that it has not fallen out of favor with China.
Criticism of China's Approach
China's approach has garnered criticism in the United States, most notably actress Mia Farrow's called for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Beijing if China does not come around to the position of the United States. Yet China will never accept the position of a U.N. force entering Sudan without the invitation of Khartoum. Although the approaching anniversary of the failed Darfur peace agreement is causing U.S. and British leaders to push for stronger actions against Sudan, China may well be able to prevent such a plan from materializing.
To China, an incremental approach with the consent of the Sudanese government is preferable to the course advocated by Washington and London. Furthermore, Beijing does not believe that a larger mission to Darfur is sustainable.
With the existing African Union force struggling to fund its current mission in Darfur, and the violence bleeding over into Chad and the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), China has highlighted Khartoum's acceptance of the "heavy support package" for the A.U. mission as evidence of the progress its approach has had during the past few months. "At present, more positive measures should be taken to implement the consensus that had been reached," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a press conference.
China will lobby the Security Council not to take action until it can be judged whether the new U.N. peacekeepers will be successful in Darfur. Previous history suggests that even if Khartoum does not honor its pledge to accept the "heavy support package," Beijing will be able to sustain this position for several months.
Still, a new U.N. envoy to Sudan has been appointed, and the three African countries at the Security Council may vote for tougher actions against Sudan. Under a possible, though unlikely, scenario, China would not veto further sanctions against Khartoum as long as its oil investments were not harmed.
While the Washington-London approach may prove difficult to fund and would probably end in failure, there is no reason to believe that China's incremental agenda will succeed in resolving the Darfur crisis either. The rebels have fractured politically, with many groups devolving into armed bandits hardly distinguishable from the feared Janjaweed. The lawless region has sowed violence in neighboring Chad and C.A.R., plus it seems to be aggravating tensions in southern Sudan, where the long-fought-for peace could easily collapse. [See: "Instability on the March in Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic"]
It seems likely that the Darfur conflict is beyond redeem, and a regional conflict that threatens the governments of Chad, C.A.R. and Sudan may well be in the offing. With Washington and London coordinating their efforts to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the failed Darfur peace deal, in a move that appears to have more to do with a press calendar than events on the ground, and China in a position to block such efforts, there is little reason to believe that much will be done to challenge this fatalistic assumption.
Report Drafted By:
The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of [email protected]. PINR reprints do not qualify under Fair-Use Statute Section 107 of the Copyright Act. All comments should be directed to [email protected].
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