Shaming China over Sudan

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Four years into the killing in Darfur, the world has yet to definitively act to stop what Colin Powell called "genocide". Now, Darfur activists are training their fury on the one big power they say has the power to stop the killing but hasn't - China.

China buys Sudan's oil. That money props up the government that controls Darfur.

Activists want to shame China into reining in Sudan. Their leverage: the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. China wants a showcase. Darfur advocates vow to brand them the "genocide Olympics" unless Beijing acts. But will this work?

This hour On Point: Shaming China on Darfur.

Quotes from the Show:

"Security is a serious problem and the latest targets seem to be the people who are trying to help the victims in Darfur - the aid workers, humanitarian groups ..." Edmund Sanders

"China buys 2/3rds of Sudan's oil. China's investments in Sudan have made the US sanctions irrelevant largely in Sudan. There're still a lot of developments, buildings, bridges and things like that going on, mostly in Khartoum. There hasn't been much of a political relationship [between China and Sudan]." Edmund Sanders

"If you look at the security dynamic on the ground, the appaulling insecurity faced day in day out by not only humanitarians but some 4 and a half million conflict-affected persons in the greater humanitarian theater — that's the UN estimate. We simply have to change that security dynamic. ...But the only way we will change the security dynamic is by changing the diplomatic dynamic and there China is key. ... China is the one that's done the most to insulate Khartoum from pressure to allow in the UN forces." Eric Reeves

"This is not a campaign led by the United States or has America's stamp on it." Eric Reeves

"It is not necessary to launch this campaign. And I think the campaign will fail because they [campaign organizers] have not given credit to China for what China's done." Shen Dingli

"We have a real challenge in confronting China and its role in the world. ...It helps to have a domestic lobby inside." Josh Rubenstein, Amnesty International

"The best way to handle this is through diplomatic negotiations with the Chinese. We have found over time that the Chinese do respond." Merle Goldman


Edmund Sanders, Nairobi Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times.;
Eric Reeves, Professor of English at Smith College. He has spent eight years working as an independent Sudan researcher and analyst. His forthcoming book is, "A Long Day's Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide";
Shen Dingli, Executive Dean of Fudan University's Institute of International Studies and associate fellow at the Asia Society.;
Merle Goldman, Associate, Fairbanks Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University.

This program aired on April 5, 2007.


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