China's Buddies In Africa
Sudan topped headlines again today as the U.N. accused the country of war crimes in its Dafur region. The U.N. human rights commission was barred from entering the country -- which gets most of foreign capital from oil sales to China -- but that didn't stop it from documenting (yet again!) the ongoing murder, rape, beating and displacement of Sudanese Christians and animists by the Kartoum government and its janjaweed militia.
To protect its oil supplies at the expense of human life in Dafur, China has routinely blocked stronger U.N. action on Sudan.
And in Zimbabwe, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, was severely beaten after police -- using riot control equipment obtained from China -- broke up an MDC rally that violated the government's ban on political gatherings. Well, at least they've got a ban on opposition political gatherings. You can gather all you want to support the government of Robert Mugabe.
But who would want to?
As I mentioned a week or so ago, China just doesn't care what goes on in a country (including theirs) -- if it serves the country's leadership and their expansionist strategies, they're all for it. Here's the money quote from that post, just as a reminder:
"No matter if it's rogue's oil or a friend's oil, 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."The same goes for minerals, and for markets for Chinese goods. If it's good for China (i.e., bad for democracy and human rights), who cares?