China, Please

China Please.jpg

This will have to be a super-quickie. The caption to the photo in this article reads, “Demonstrators gather outside of the Chinese Embassy in London, on February 12, calling on China to intervene in the Darfur crisis before the Olympic Games in Beijing.”

Expect to see a lot more images like this in the months ahead. The Darfur movement is picking up tremendous steam thanks to Spielberg’s unfortunate decision. (I encourage you to read an excellent new post about that decision over here.)

Finally, before I disappear again, I want to direct readers to an interesting article from Foreign Policy magazine that puts this issue into a slightly different perspective. Many indignant protesters lay all the blame on China. I lay a lot of the blame on China, too, but is it so black and white? What are America and its allies doing themselves to step up to the plate to create change in Sudan? Should the outrage be directed mainly at China and the 2008 Olympics?


I offer an extended excerpt from this thought-provoking piece, and then I have to get back to work.

After four years of tireless efforts, Darfur advocacy groups have had little success in pressuring the Bush administration or any other Western government to move decisively against the Sudanese government for its atrocities in Darfur. These groups are right to dismiss the Bush administration’s latest sanctions initiative as mere posturing; like all of the president’s efforts to date, it’s too limited in scope and lacks a wider, more holistic diplomatic strategy. These groups are focusing instead on the two C’s of humanitarian advocacy – China and celebrities – as a remedy for a crisis that has killed over 200,000 people and displaced more than 2.5 million. But in pointing the finger at China, proponents of stronger action on Darfur are merely helping the White House evade moral responsibility for a humanitarian disaster that it labels a ‘genocide.’

With its oil ties to the Sudanese regime and its resistance to U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Khartoum, China is a convenient whipping boy, and a cast of celebrities has signed on eagerly to lead the whipping. Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney have come out in recent weeks to criticize the Chinese government for not responding to the cries of Darfur’s people, zeroing in on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Earnest editorial writers have joined them enthusiastically.

The campaign has had some results. Beijing’s usual foreign policy approach – ‘non-interference’ in Sudan’s domestic affairs- has been evolving under the pressure. China has become more active in trying to persuade the Khartoum regime to cooperate with the international community. China is willing to pursue a peace settlement, and indeed President Hu Jintao pressured Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on this issue and duly urged cooperation with the United Nations on his visit to Khartoum in February. Beijing has also appointed a full-time envoy tasked with assisting in resolving the Darfur crisis.

But threatening a ‘Genocide Olympics’ alone wi’l not bring peace (or peacekeepers) to that troubled region. No amount of criticism will convince Beijing to pursue a coercive strategy and a nonconsensual deployment of U.N. peacekeepers that Khartoum rejects. Yes, China has the economic leverage to gain the ear of President Bashir, but that hardly means it has the ability – or, more to the point, the will-to bully him into accepting a large U.N. peacekeeping contingent in Darfur. China’s multibillion dollar investments in Sudan’s petroleum industry are a much-needed source of energy for its mushrooming economy. Beijing may make tactical moves to pressure Sudan, but it will not choose human rights over oil, a matter of paramount national interest.

And, even if China were capable of delivering Bashir, the Sudanese government is not the only impediment to an effective peace process. Nowadays, more people may well be dying from tribal clashes than from marauding janjaweed or government forces. The infighting of fractured rebel groups and the sheer number of displaced people with no homes to return to are also immediate and significant obstacles to peace. But China has little influence over the rebel movements and is ill-positioned to act as a mediator between them.

No, China is not at all free of blame – it has used its power on the UN’s Security Council to protect Sudan’s government, and it has showered the murderous regime with gifts and guns. Is China, however, the one power that should be singled out, and were China to do all it could to stop the fighting would it make a serious difference? It’s at least something to think about as we continue our hand-wringing.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 59 Comments

Unproductive comment thread in 3…2…1…

February 21, 2008 @ 5:03 pm | Comment

Ready, go!

While I’m not too excited about celebrities and their moral demonstrations, I’m curious why Spielberg’s decision is unfortunate.

China is the main outside country involved in the country in Question, with France as a much more minor influence. I think the world is a bit tired of America intervening when and wherever they think necessary. China is the appropriate country to put pressure on, and the Olympics is one place they can feel the pressure. The UN isn’t going to do it.

February 21, 2008 @ 5:49 pm | Comment

It’s unfortunate because it has raised the decibel level of a call to boycott the Olympics, which I think is unproductive – no, countr-productive. Let me just quote another blogger – no panda hugger – also cited in Spencer’s article:

It truly aggravates me when I see guys like Steven Spielberg waxing on about how he finds it his moral duty to help the people of Darfur by pulling out of the Olympics. It is pure, sanctimonious crap! I have no doubt that Mr. Spielberg is a very intelligent man. Having seen many of his films, I can tell that there is something special about this man’s ability to make a movie. And that’s the point. If he really wants to help the people of Darfur, he should making a movie about the genocide that’s taking place there, and giving people insight about the wrongs that are taking place in that region of Sudan. I’m tired of guys like Spielberg, Mia Farrow and Bono sitting on their high horses and quarterbacking some kind of political grass-roots action against the flavor-of-the-month cause. If you really want to make a political difference, do like Reagan and Schwartzenegger did, which is actually put yourself up for election so you can actually enact political change, rather pulling half-baked PR stunts like pulling out of the Olympics, which isn’t going to effect the overall look of the Games here in Beijing this summer, and quite frankly, isn’t going to make one lick of difference when it comes to getting China onboard the Darfur situation more than it is already.

I tend to aqree.

February 21, 2008 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

it is correct to put pressure on china because china, as a permanent member of unsc, is obstructing putting un troops on the ground in the numbers required. other powers could act unilaterally, but then we would hear the howls of “they think they are the world’s policemen”. i don’t really understand what fp is saying when it says “Only a top-level, sustained, and aggressive multilateral mediation effort backed by the United States, the European Union, and African, Arab, and Chinese governments can stop the violence and reverse the massive displacement of people. ” isn’t this the crux of the argument by the darfur activists against china? by putting pressure on china, they may come to the table and work with others. though work maybe required with the arabs and africans. the eu and us is willing to do something in tandem with others. are they?

February 21, 2008 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

@richard

off topic: if you are going to be away why not have an open thread?

my suggestion is a thread called the “happy happy open thread” where we all talk about positive things we like about china and perhaps what first interested us in her. it might make a refreshing change from the usual barracking?

@brendan

how can threads ever be productive?

February 21, 2008 @ 9:51 pm | Comment

What exactly are those demonstrators asking China for, anyone? Please don’t give your opinions, only the words from the horse’s mouth.

Anyone else think the demonstration should be held in Addis Ababa instead of London?

February 21, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

“Anyone else think the demonstration should be held in Addis Ababa instead of London?”

Does China allow demonstrations in Addis Ababa?

February 21, 2008 @ 11:15 pm | Comment

I do not know how much influence has China in Sudan, or what they could be able to do to ease the situation there or who is more to blame for it.

But the answers I have seen of TV of Chinese officials about the matter, and the way Mr Spiegel was dismissed, was rather clumsy and overbearing.

With reasons or not the Darfur issue will build up in the coming months as a result.

Some improvements in Chinese public relation abilities are really needed.
I remember seeing one Chinese official making a public statement on TV. As I saw him I could not stop thinking “Man! Do you have any idea of the backlash you are going to get!)

They could have handled this issue with far greater ability.

February 22, 2008 @ 12:22 am | Comment

Discussion of and action on the Sudan issue were blocked by China in the UN. As for when the US will “step up to the plate,” well, if its chance to step up to the plate is continually threatened with veto, that might be a tad difficult.

I am wondering if Spielberg was already aware of the content of the opening ceremony (after all, it’s February, I’m sure that they have begun planning it intricately) and quit in disgust considering the picture painted and the realities. If there is one thing that we can be sure of, the opening ceremony will be a gigantic gratuitous wack-off-fest to the motherland…. I’m just hoping they supply those little vomit bags you get on airplanes.

So, considering the inevitable nature of the opening ceremonies (“go, go, go China, it’s yo birthday”), is it reasonable to encourage a boycott of the opening ceremonies, while still participating in the Games? I think so.

February 22, 2008 @ 12:47 am | Comment

I think it is bizarre the way that people around the world know more about CCPs role in Darfur than they do about the regimes abuses of the Chinese nation. Whats best would be if the world demanded a thorough investigation of the persecution of F G and or gan har vesting as well as stopped the insanity of persecuting activists who are just trying to look out for their countrymen like aids activists, environmental activists, human rights people and whoever else is being treated badly because their being good makes the party feel uncomfortable.

Since the world is not up to speed on these issues (thought the British media seem to do it a lot better than the North American) I think the Darfur issue is at least in the right direction.

I think Speilburg and others could do a lto better in standing up for good causes (making movies is a great idea) but since they are only at this level in their willingness to stand up, I say its better than nothing. You cannot argue that the CCP doesnt deserve to be accountable. The CCP needs to be held acountable. How else can we make them accountable, the major wolrd organizations sure are not doing their jobs, its a mess. So this is better than nothing and I think Speilburg did not do anything wrong and did something worthwhile. I wouldnt be able to put on a happy Olympics face just like the CCP wants. I think whoever knows the CCP and can still put on a big Olympics grin and forget the atrocities is mentally ill….

February 22, 2008 @ 12:53 am | Comment

Stuart, Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, where the AU headquarters locates.

Kevin, what discussions/actions in the UN have been blocked by China? Have you checked out Spielberg’s original statements to understand his role so far in the Olympic ceremony? How much time have you actually spent to understand the Sudan situation? Unlike Stuart who sadly probably is hopeless to achieve some basic cognizant skills, you still have hope. Stop assuming, and start reading.

February 22, 2008 @ 1:11 am | Comment

If you don’t know about China’s blockage of action on Sudan in the UN through veto threats, I would recommend a quick google search.
Perhaps a search string like… china sudan security council veto
Thanks.

February 22, 2008 @ 1:32 am | Comment

Also, jxie, there’s no need to be so condescending when you are in fact so uninformed about the behavior of the government that you are so loyally defending. With that kind of an attitude, which is far too rampant amongst “defenders of the motherland,” who are in fact the ones who often come in with assumptions and fail to do their reading, there truly is no hope for realistic discussion of the issues.

February 22, 2008 @ 1:47 am | Comment

Kevin, that was not a yes/no question, it’s a what/why/how question. I am asking you to present a case, in specifics, please include:

* what were proposed?
* what were the takes of the AU, South Africa & Nigeria?
* what were the consequences of similar UN resolutions in the past?

Going through this process will help you see the entire topic in a different light. But you can choose to be ignorant, blissfully I might add.

February 22, 2008 @ 1:52 am | Comment

The Dream for Darfur group is asking for four specific steps:

http://www.dreamfordarfur.org/NewsEvents/PressReleases/ActivistsReleaseAdsOutlineStepsforChina/tabid/295/Default.aspx

1. Immediately provide half of the transport helicopters that UNAMID requires, with support from Europe and the United States for maintenance and contracting arrangements.

2. Support punitive measures, such as UN Security Council targeted sanctions, against Khartoum officials, until peace and security for Darfur is achieved. UN targeted sanctions should be imposed immediately against government, rebel, or militia officials who are responsible for undermining UNAMID’s deployment, the North-South peace deal, or regional stability, such as attempting to overthrow the government in neighboring Chad.

3. Verifiably suspend all military cooperation with the Khartoum regime, including weapons transfers, until peace and security for Darfur is achieved.

4. Work with the United States, France, and the United Kingdom in a quartet supporting UN and African Union initiatives in Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Chad. This cooperative work on the peace process needs to be comprehensive. The problems of Darfur, Southern Sudan, and Chad are intertwined, so unless peace is advanced on all of these fronts it will be unlikely to be achieved on any of these fronts.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:00 am | Comment

Kevin, I apologize if my reply hurt your feeling. It’s just that the Sudan topic has been discussed so many times here yet there are still so many laughably uninformed opinions. I will the first to profess that there are still many things in this topic I know squat about, but at least I have paid my intellectual courtesy to spend quite a bit time researching this topic, and coming away realizing how complicated it is.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Comment

#1 is of course, a joke. Let’s pressure the developing nation into providing transport helicopters? Why shouldn’t the far better equipped NATO/American forces be pressured into the act?

#2 – punitive UN sanctions against individuals? This isn’t a position the AU supports, or the vast majority of international diplomats.

#3 – this is a position China could support, but how is “military cooperation” defined? Does it extend to the sale of *trucks* to the Khartoum regime? And who does the verification?

#4 – is this really a request for China alone? In what way is China not currently supporting UN and AU intiatives in Darfur?

February 22, 2008 @ 2:06 am | Comment

Thanks, CCT.

#1 wonder how much that cost is. More than the PR money spent by them so far? Why didn’t they ask their own governments for it?

#3 I think the answer will be your wife-beating line. The evil in me will ask them to first prove they have stopped having sex with young boys.

#4 Wow, just wow. They don’t even have the decency to build a framework involving some African and Arab nations.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:17 am | Comment

The manager of a Chinese state-owned company in Nigeria has just been given the title “Tribal Chief” by the Igbo tribe. He is the third Chinese to receive such honor in Nigeria. (“Tribal Chief” is not just a honorary title, I think they get a piece of land too, not sure about the woman though, hehe).

http://itv.ifeng.com/vplay.aspx?id=f4d7cb0e-f339-47d0-b283-eabe7790adbd

That shows you how popular Chinese are in Africa. If you leave your gunboats and bibles home, the African people will welcome you with open arms. Badmouthing won’t work, African people know what’s going on.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:21 am | Comment

richard,

I personally think this article deserves its own thread.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/21/opinion/edcunningham.php

February 22, 2008 @ 2:27 am | Comment

Not sure it’s narcissistic edge but probably a desire or a need to reform the tarnished image forever associated with the scandal involving Woody Allen and Soon-Yi. Farrow I can understand, but why the others? Too many dumbfucks among us, I guess.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:56 am | Comment

These people, certainly including some people here, may have a very load voice; but they are in a tiny minority. They are desperately looking for attention. I think the Chinese government and people should just continue to ignore them. The more attention you give to them, the more excited they become.

February 22, 2008 @ 3:27 am | Comment

@AC

“That shows you how popular Chinese are in Africa.”

If you want to know how popular Chinese really are in Africa, you might want to go through the trouble of actually talking to some African people. I’ve been told by Africans that they (the Africans) hate their (Chinese businessmen active in Africa) guts. But of course, that’s just blowing anecdotes out of proportion and in a short while a certain fenqing notorious on this blog is going to tell me to “get cancer and die” and whatever verbal abuse he can come up with.
If Chinese people and African people really get along with each other so well, why is it that so many Chinese schools have problems with employing very qualified teachers who happen to be “black” or “colored” and rather choose to let some weirdos who happen to be Caucasian but can’t even speak proper English to teach their students instead?

February 22, 2008 @ 4:34 am | Comment

If you want to know how popular Chinese really are in Africa, you might want to go through the trouble of actually talking to some African people. I’ve been told by Africans that they (the Africans) hate their (Chinese businessmen active in Africa) guts. But of course, that’s just blowing anecdotes out of proportion and in a short while a certain fenqing notorious on this blog is going to tell me to “get cancer and die” and whatever verbal abuse he can come up with.

You know it’s hearsay, and you know we shouldn’t generalize, but still, you couldn’t help…

If a group of people pick a foreigner from a different race as their chief, and it happened three times, I would say it’s pretty representative, wouldn’t you agree?

I still remember the scene when the PRC was accepted in the UN. When the resolution was passed, the whole room was clapping and cheering, the representatives from Africa were jumping up and down in joy, and one of them wore a Mao suit just for the occasion. The relation between China and Africa started long time ago, many people in the West didn’t know it, because it didn’t get any press until oil was found in Africa…

If Chinese people and African people really get along with each other so well, why is it that so many Chinese schools have problems with employing very qualified teachers who happen to be “black” or “colored” and rather choose to let some weirdos who happen to be Caucasian but can’t even speak proper English to teach their students instead?

Care to share your source?

February 22, 2008 @ 6:08 am | Comment

That article makes no sense. The aggresive goverment in Sudan oppose the usage of Thailand/ China controlled troops against Darfur who appears to want China to against Sudan’s goverment???????

This is just reckless violence and China supplying them with helicopters and weapons to flush out citizens is even more foul. I mean who is going to populate that place?????

Africa and all these countries in it have absolutely no culture at all that is respected by the common human being.

This problem has been around since 2005 which is kinda ridiculous to even start with.

Why would you kill of your own people. Is Elijah Muhammad ( Maclom X bailer ) in any way to blame for this????

February 22, 2008 @ 9:33 am | Comment

robert e., you’re full of crap. Check your facts. China buys the oil, which funds the arms bought overwhelmingly from China, which are used to thrash the rebels (and everybody around them), who are making a major inconvenience in the oil-pumping area (leased primarily by China). It’s a win-win scenario for everybody! Except the locals. You don’t even have to know which race anyone is to figure that one out, you ignorant dildo.

February 22, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Comment

robert e., I’m deleting that and asking you again to go away. (Sorry Sam, I don’t want this guy here.) I can deal with nanhe and ferin, but you keep making it way too personal and I’ve warned you before about it. I also find your arguments cynical and designed to enrage everybody – I at least believe nanhe and ferin and CCT and others are sincere (or at least usually). You’re just here for yourself and to see how you can most infuriate. So again, please bugger off.

Richard

February 22, 2008 @ 11:06 am | Comment

This is what I found on Human Rights Watch (November 2003):

China was not new to Sudan. By the time it invested in GNPOC in December 1996, it was already a familiar arms dealer to many Sudanese governments. The Nimeiri government (1969-85) bought weapons from China. But these purchases rose in the 1990s due to Sudan�s internal war and the promise of improved finances and enhanced international credit derived from its oil potential.

Weapons deliveries from China to Sudan since 1995 have included ammunition, tanks, helicopters, and fighter aircraft. China also became a major supplier of antipersonnel and antitank mines after 1980, according to a Sudanese government official.1387 The SPLA in 1997 overran government garrison towns in the south, and in one town alone, Yei, a Human Rights Watch researcher saw eight Chinese 122 mm towed howitzers, five Chinese-made T-59 tanks, and one Chinese 37 mm anti-aircraft gun abandoned by the government army.

Human Rights Watch concluded that while China�s motivation for this arms trade appeared to be primarily economic, China made available easy financing for some of these arms purchases.

If these arm sales were completed before the “genocide,” I don’t think the Chinese government is responsible.

Does anybody have information on Chinese arm sales after the conflict started?

Thanks.

February 22, 2008 @ 11:22 am | Comment

JXie: “Anyone else think the demonstration should be held in Addis Ababa instead of London?”

Stuart: “Does China allow demonstrations in Addis Ababa?”

JXie: “Stuart, Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia, where the AU headquarters locates.”

JXie, with respect, you completely missed the point my question was making.

February 22, 2008 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

Nevermind, Richard. You can delete mine, too, if you like. And I’m trying to raise the civil standards of my language, even when provoked by the stunningly stupid.

February 22, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

Sam, I don’t think robert e. is stunningly stupid – conniving, facile, nasty and immature, maybe. But not stupid.

February 22, 2008 @ 2:08 pm | Comment

What are America and its allies doing themselves to step up to the plate to create change in Sudan?

More importantly, what CAN they do? China buys up 2/3 of Sudan’s oil by itself. The “Allies” have proposed sanctions, but China has indicated it would veto them.

What’s left to do?

February 22, 2008 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

One article more

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/21/asia/letter.php

What do you think of it?

February 22, 2008 @ 3:17 pm | Comment

What’s left to do?

They can always invade, kill 5% of the population, rape little girls and steal all their oil.

February 22, 2008 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

If you want to know how popular Chinese really are in Africa

Pew Global Attitudes says Africans have the most positive views of China, sometimes even more than the Chinese themselves. So much for your lies. The type of “African” or “Chinese” people like you hang around are the asskissers who will bend over backwards to feed your sense of moral superiority. That’s why your outlook on the way the world works is so stupid; aside from the fact that you were born predisposed to stupid thinking.

have problems with employing very qualified teachers who happen to be “black” or “colored” and rather choose to let some weirdos who happen to be Caucasian

They should employ neither. English is overhyped in all Asian countries. The real problem is that they accept the horsecrap Hollywood, left wingers and other multibillion pro-European, anti-black propaganda outlets spew onto the world.

February 22, 2008 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

@ferin
“They can always invade, kill 5% of the population, rape little girls and steal all their oil.”

Are you talking about Tibet or Xinjiang……?

( running for cover….)

February 22, 2008 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

China didn’t rape little girls, or kill 5% of the population, but the other two are true.

Then again the Han have been in Xinjiang longer than the rest of the people there, since the original inhabitants (Tocharians) were pushed into India.

February 23, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Comment

@Raj,

More importantly, what CAN they do? China buys up 2/3 of Sudan’s oil by itself. The “Allies” have proposed sanctions, but China has indicated it would veto them.

In terms of what the US and EU can do, I have a proposal for you.

The United States and EU can, as an act of goodwill, transfer ownership interests in some of their long-held petroleum reserves in other parts of the world to China. (At least until the genocide in Sudan is over.)

The US and EU can then boycott Sudan to their heart’s desire.

February 23, 2008 @ 12:46 am | Comment

@AC

“You know it’s hearsay, and you know we shouldn’t generalize, but still, you couldn’t help…

If a group of people pick a foreigner from a different race as their chief, and it happened three times, I would say it’s pretty representative, wouldn’t you agree?”

If some Chinese website reports that three Chinese people have received honorary titles somewhere in Nigeria that is proof for the overall popularity Chinese enjoy in Africa. If I relate what I’ve been told personally by African people that’s just hearsay.

“Care to share your source?”

Like a certain other person, I have to ask you, have you actually ever been to China? Or are you just pretending to be ignorant? It’s like Stuart once said to CCT: I’m telling you it’s Friday and you say: “How do you know that? Do you have prove for that?”

February 23, 2008 @ 3:14 am | Comment

“What’s left to do?

They can always invade, kill 5% of the population, rape little girls and steal all their oil.”

This comment certainly shows how “sincere” ferin is.

February 23, 2008 @ 3:17 am | Comment

@mor,

I’m not sure that the Stuart example is a particularly convincing one. Last time I checked, it’s still not Friday. (No one, anywhere, has provided evidence of on-going arms trade.)

February 23, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Comment

“Pew Global Attitudes says Africans have the most positive views of China, sometimes even more than the Chinese themselves. So much for your lies. The type of “African” or “Chinese” people like you hang around are the asskissers who will bend over backwards to feed your sense of moral superiority. That’s why your outlook on the way the world works is so stupid; aside from the fact that you were born predisposed to stupid thinking.”

The only people who feed my sense of moral superiority are abusive, ignorant trolls like you.

“They should employ neither. English is overhyped in all Asian countries. The real problem is that they accept the horsecrap Hollywood, left wingers and other multibillion pro-European, anti-black propaganda outlets spew onto the world.”

Another very sincere and thoughtful comment by Master “It’s all in the statistics” Ferin. Mind you, everybody, if racism does exist in China, it’s Hollywood’s anti-black propaganda that is to blame for it. As a matter of fact, every problem China ever had has been caused by those evil laowai. If those damned Europeans had not invented Marxism, Maoism would never have happened. Chinese people are never ever to blame for anything; this is pretty much the core of ferin’s view of the world. Say what you want, but never say anything negative about Chinese people and he won’t curse you and your family.

“Pew Global Attitudes says Africans have the most positive views of China, sometimes even more than the Chinese themselves.”

Well, I guess, Master Ferin, you are African.

February 23, 2008 @ 3:43 am | Comment

mor,

Are you saying your anecdotal evidence is more creditable than a scientifically conducted poll (the one ferin mentioned)?

Let’s just say what you said is true that there is racism in China. How does that prove that China don’t have good relation with Africa?

Clearly you have serious problems with your judgment and you are incapable of logical thinking. Arguing with you is like arguing with a 10-year-old. How can we take what you write seriously?

February 23, 2008 @ 6:59 am | Comment

Wow so I guess China’s “racism against Africans” (dun dun dun) originated entirely in China, which had basically 0 contact with Africans whatsoever except as the slaves of Arabs they traded with.

That makes a lot of sense. You really are a silly turd.

February 23, 2008 @ 7:14 am | Comment

@AC

“Are you saying your anecdotal evidence is more creditable than a scientifically conducted poll (the one ferin mentioned)?”

I’d rather believe my own eyes and ears than whatever polls or statistics ferin can pull out of his ass.

“Let’s just say what you said is true that there is racism in China.”

Never say that again! 1993 FBI statistics prove that China is the only country in the world where there is no racism.

“How does that prove that China don’t have good relation with Africa?”

You have to learn to read more carefully, especially your own comments. You were not talking about the relations between China and African countries, but about Chinese people’s popularity in Africa.

“Clearly you have serious problems with your judgment and you are incapable of logical thinking. Arguing with you is like arguing with a 10-year-old. How can we take what you write seriously?”

I’m really sorry my comments are not as sophisticated and erudite as yours or ferin’s, but I’m working on it.

February 23, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Comment

“Last time I checked, it’s still not Friday. (No one, anywhere, has provided evidence of on-going arms trade.)”

It’s Saturday now, CCT. Time to wake up.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7258059.stm

If China themselves are acknowledging responsibility for 8% of Sudan’s arms imports, what on Earth is the true figure?

February 23, 2008 @ 10:06 am | Comment

On a parenthetical note:

This has been hashed to death on this site, but there actually is over a century-long history of racist or at the very least racialist attitudes in China toward Africans, mostly as a result of the acceptance of Western pseudo-scientific ideas of racialism and social darwinism that permeated discourse on development and ethnicity in the early-20th century, ideas that frankly still linger in pockets here to this day, especially, but not exclusively, among those with limited international experience. While race is obviously not as serious an issue in China as it is in the United States and some European countries by an order of magnitude, the idea that anti-African racism is a solely a western problem is a bit disingenous.

For anyone interested, I might suggest looking at The Discourse of Race in Modern China by Frank Dikotter (Stanford University Press, 1992.) as well as “Anti-Black Racism in Post-Mao China” by Barry Sautman, The China Quarterly No. 138 (Jun., 1994), pp. 413-437

What affect or influence, if any at all, these attitudes have on the economic and strategic interests of China in Africa, I’ll leave for others to debate.

February 23, 2008 @ 10:52 am | Comment

I think too much mixing the CCP with ‘China” is dangerous and harmful towards the Chinese people. The CCP and its stuff do not represent ‘China’ and Chinese people. Dissent or differing values in China are not tolerated, the country is in a n extrmely unnatural state where the people are forced to lie to themselves and submit to being fooled, so its all weird and I dont think any discussion between people who dont acknowledge that is very authentic or relevant to the real situation.

February 23, 2008 @ 11:14 am | Comment

While race is obviously not as serious an issue in China as it is in the United States and some European countries by an order of magnitude, the idea that anti-African racism is a solely a western problem is a bit disingenous.

Chinese to black racism is a non-issue. All races have bigoted and parochial views of other races. Racism is bigotry plus power. Chinese have no real power over blacks, and have very little experience of being in contact with blacks – so the whole issue of Chinese on black racism is moot. Some Chinese might have prejudice against blacks, but likewise some blacks may harbor prejudice towards Chinese.

The very fact that some people automatically assume Chinese on black racism rather than black on Chinese racism perhaps reflects a subliminal pattern of white paternalistic thinking towards blacks.

Chinese views on race play no part in their decision making on Darfur. The simple point is: China brooks no interference in her internal affairs, especially over territorial integrity. Therefore openly interfering in the internal affairs of Sudan over something that does involve a possible division of the country, would be something that China simply could not do without appearing very very hypocritical.

China cannot do very much to stop thei killing in Sudan. Breaking off trade with Sudan would hurt millions of innocent Sudanese as well as China. And it would not do much to end what is happening in Darfur between the Janjaweed and the refugees. What you have there now is really age old ethnic and tribal conflict which even the Sudanese governemtn is quite unable to stop.

February 23, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Comment

The idea that “racism=bigotry + power” was a common enough trope in scholarship on race relations from the 60s, 70s and into the 1980s, but more recent works have considerably problematized this as a working assumption, in particular because ideas of ‘power’ have themselves become increasingly complex.

Finally, while I don’t deny a lingering paternalistic attitude in much of the rhetoric and writing on Africa coming out of Europe and the United States, I might gently suggest that referring to the crisis in Darfur as ‘tribal’ could also be construed as a form of “subliminal paternalism.” (See Ramesh Krishnamurthy, “Ethnic, Racial, or Tribal: The language of racism?” in Texts and Practices: Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis.)

February 23, 2008 @ 8:24 pm | Comment

Stuart,

Thanks for the link.

I did see anywhere in the article that says China was still selling arms to Sudan AFTER the conflict started. Mr. Liu was defending the role of the existing Chinese weapons in the conflict. China never denied arms sales before the conflict.

February 23, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Comment

correction.

Stuart,

Thanks for the link.

I did NOT see anywhere in the article that says China was still selling arms to Sudan AFTER the conflict started. Mr. Liu was defending the role of the existing Chinese weapons in the conflict. China never denied arms sales before the conflict.

February 23, 2008 @ 9:55 pm | Comment

Jeremiah,

There is racism in every society. I think the root cause of racism is ignorance and fear. Ignorance and fear is also the cause of xenophobic (for example, “yellow peril”). There are simply too few black people in China to use their experiences to draw conclusion on the whole Chinese society. At least we Chinese never systematically discriminated against a certain group of people.

Again, racism in China can not prove that Chinese are not popular in Africa. There is a serious flaw in that logic.

February 23, 2008 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

AC,

“There is racism in every society.”

I agree.

February 23, 2008 @ 10:33 pm | Comment

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China’s influence in Sudan is much exaggerated.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2ef76a00-e1b4-11dc-a302-0000779fd2ac.html

Specifically he points out (accurate?) that China accounts for only 8% of Sudan’s Arms Imports.

This article from Amnesty is over 3 years old, but it shows the sources of arms imports for Sudan. You will notice quite a few countries on that list.

http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR541392004?open&of=ENG-SDN

Another point that the Chinese have raised is that the government isn’t the only actor that has precipated the crisis in Darfur. I think this is the most significant point that needs addressing in that everyone expects khartoum to capitulate to rebel demands but not the other way around. Many of the rebel leaders live abroad (the chief rebel warlord lives in exile naturally enough in Paris) and the West can bring even greater pressure on them than China can on the Sudanese government.

February 24, 2008 @ 7:32 am | Comment

I think it is 100% asinine to pull out over China’s involvement in Darfur, when the things China does closer to home are so much worse — sort of like divorcing a serial murderer because he slandered someone in a bar while on a business trip in a faraway city. Please note that personally I am highly conflicted over the ethics of involvement in China, and do not condemn anyone for working there. Or not working there.

Western double standards suck — but at least it is focusing attention on Darfur. So some good may come of it.

Michael

February 24, 2008 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

I might gently suggest that referring to the crisis in Darfur as ‘tribal’ could also be construed as a form of “subliminal paternalism.

Ridiculous. The Sudanese themselves try to define it as a tribal conflict.

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article24456

February 24, 2008 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Jeremiah, again. Purported Chinese racism against blacks is a non-issue. You are just the typical white who wants to deflect the major issue of white racism (50million colonial victims in 20th century alone) by refering to some hypothetical Chinese ‘racism.’
And I note that once bringing up some uncomfortable facts about the Wests past in another thread, one of these whites protested that the thread be immediately closed which it was.
At the moment there is a real feeling among whites that China is getting too powerful. So they are trying to use the Darfur issue to strangle China’s involvment in the region.

Darfur is an internal tribal matter for the Sudanese people themselves to settle. The Sudanese government had not asked for foreign intervention, so none should be provided. To put a force on the ground there when none is called for is obviously colonialism. But that is what these whites want. The West want conflict because they cannot stand to see a yellow man and a black man get together and do anything without first deferring to big daddy white man.

Well thank you Spielberg, thank you Mia Farrow. You have certainly united and made Chinese people everywhere aware the true agenda of the West – to strangle the rising China in its adolescence.

For the first time in history, a major power (China) is being singled out for the actions of a third party with which it has relations.

Do even the Islamic world single out countries for having a relationship with the UK or US, even though the UK and US are in Iraq? No.

Was the US boycotted in the 80s for supporting Saddam Hussein, the apartheid regime in South Africa and any other number of purportedly ‘loathsome’ regimes. NO

Thank you westerners. Thank you. You just make the job of arousing the Chinese nation so easy.
Now everyone, even Taiwanese friends of mine, can see through the wicked neo-colonial agenda of Western whites.

February 24, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

And with that profound and witty riposte no doubt worthy of the Algonquin Round Table, this dead horse of a thread pulls a Roberto Duran and says: ‘no mas.’

In the words of Bill Simmons…yep folks, these are our readers.

February 24, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

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