Why China Won’t Save Darfur

Written by  //  September 10, 2007  //  Africa, China  //  No comments

By Morton Abramowitz, Jonathan Kolieb

Frustrated by the West’s failure to halt the slaughter in Sudan, Darfur advocacy groups are pinning their hopes on a country they see as genocide’s enabler in chief: China. But in pressuring an indifferent Beijing, activists are merely helping Western governments evade responsibility for a humanitarian crisis that they could do far more to stop.
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.”
Foreign Policy June 2007

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