Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with VOA Mandarin about President Bashir

In a June 28 interview with the Mandarin service of the VOA concerning Sudanese President Omar Bashir’s visit to China, I made the following points:

  • China was largely responsible for developing Sudan’s oil sector and is now a major beneficiary of its production. 
  • China’s primary goal is to maintain good relations with both North Sudan, which has the infrastructure for exporting oil, and South Sudan, which holds 75 percent of the known oil reserves and will become independent on 9 July. 
  • China is the most influential country in North Sudan and does not want to lose this influence while it continues to improve relations with South Sudan, whose president, Salva Kiir, first visited China in 2007. 
  • There is not necessarily a direct link between the visit of President Bashir, who is under indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the upcoming independence of South Sudan. The visit underscores, however, that China, which is not signatory to the ICC, remains unconcerned about western criticism of Beijing’s receiving a visit by a leader who has been indicted by the ICC.

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