Being Amoral/Immoral Has Its Advantages
No matter if it's rogue's oil or a friend's oi, we don't care. Human rights? We don't care. We care about oil. Whether Iran would have nuclear weapons or not is not our business. America cares, but Iran is not our neighbor. Anyone who helps China with energy is a friend.James Kirchick shared that quote with Weekly Standard readers last week in his article, Africa's New Hegemon.
China's growing demand for oil has them cutting deals with Sudan (and fighting UN sanctions) and Iran (fighting UN sanctions) and, before we kicked them out, Iraq (fighting UN sanctions). They sell weapons throughout the continent -- $240 million in 2004 to Robert Mugabe's dispicable regime, including some riot suppression gear that's recently come in handy.
It sold weapons to Eritrea during its recent war with Ethiopia. It sold weapons to Ethiopia in its recent war with Eritrea.
But it's China-first, China-only approach has its drawbacks. It floods Africa with cheap products, puting local businesses out of business. It built a textile factory in Kano, Nigeria that put all the local textile mills out of business -- but it brought in all its raw material from China, buying none locally.
Deaths in Chinese-operated mines are high and workers complain that Chinese bosses are "uniquely bruttal and exploitative." There are even allegations that China imports prison slave labor from China
Whatever happened to the "People" in "People's Republic?"
As Herman Cohen, a former US ambassador to Senegal and Gambia summed it up: