Why various and sundry dictators prefer doing business with China


“We don’t want the development models, ideologies and values of other countries foisted on our country,” [China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun] said. “Likewise we don’t impose our development mode, ideology and values on other countries — not least on African countries. So, it has been the consistent position of the Chinese government when conducting aid with African countries that we do not attach conditions.”

In plain English: Dear dictator: we’ll give you money, you give us oil, end of story (oh, and if you’d like, we’ll throw in some development money).  China is not going to bother you about your human rights abuses, not going to ask why you don’t let women vote, not going to demand you increase religious freedom.   

In case you are wondering whether China’s oil interests in Sudan is what has ensured a Chinese veto in the UN Security Council of any attempt to saction the Islamist Arab government of Sudan for carrying out genocide first against Christian and animist Africans and now against Sufi Muslim Africans, Mr. Zhai assures that nothing of the sort is going on: “I believe the Darfur issue and China’s economic and energy cooperation and trade are two separate issues. It is not the case that because of the good relationship and cooperation with the Sudanese government that we’re turning a blind eye to the situation in Darfur.” Righto. Well, at least he admits they are turning a blind eye.

For more on the impact of China’s quest for energy in Africa on that continent’s dismal human rights situation, read China’s Oil Rush in Africa by LCDR Cindy Hurst.

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