Sudan: China attempts to mediate as war threatens China’s energy safety. China is Sudan’s largest economic partner, with a 40% share in Sudanese oil projects. Diplomatic relations go back to 1959. Today 5% of China’s oil imports come from Sudan.Commentators who subscribe to the label rogue states would find China-Sudan bilateral relations would find theirs an exemplar.
The whole region, before South Sudan seceded was one of China’s most successful overseas investments.
Li Weijian, director at the Center of Western Asian and African Studies of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies said, “China was not only the oil buyer but also invested in the whole oil industry chain as well as many infrastructure programs. Once the conflict intensifies, China will be affected…”
It might be useful to take notice of how China handles this. How will it flex its soft power muscles to get a desirable outcome?
Even when it comes to the matter of energy safety in sustaining comprehensive national power, it seems the Chinese independent foreign policy of peace rhetoric continues to translate to dialogue and diplomacy, over sanctions. This, on the back of the Sino-Russian double veto during the Syria resolution back in February.
On the other hand, the UN Security Council discussed possible sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan on Tuesday as Sudan loses a third of its crude output at about 40,000 barrels when South Sudan took control of the Heglig border region.
See also - Sudan, South Sudan only one step from full-scale war (Global Times, April 20, 2012)
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Sudan war ‘threatens China energy safety’
by Liu Meng
Source – Global Times, published April 20, 2012
The war between Sudan and South Sudan threatens China’s energy security, and Beijing will continue to mediate a peace deal between the two sides, analysts said Thursday.
The comments came as Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir vowed Thursday to teach “a lesson by force” to the South Sudanese government over its seizure of the north’s main Heglig oil field.
“America will not invoke sanctions on them, and the (UN) Security Council will not, but the Sudanese people are going to punish them,” Bashir said at a rally of paramilitary troops. Read the rest of this entry »