China unyielding

As activists and diplomats alike continue to exert pressure on China over its continued support for Sudan, the Chinese government continues to present an unyielding position. Interestingly enough, the Sudan Tribune reported today that part of the reasoning for this goes back decades.

Beijing’s principle of non-interference in the affairs of other countries was established more than 50 years ago by then foreign minister Zhou Enlai.

For China, Darfur is a matter for Sudan in the same way that Beijing views its own troubled regions as off limits to the international community, says Yitzhak Shichor, an East Asia expert at the University of Haifa.

“Beijing’s response toward the situation in Darfur reflects not only its pragmatic (economic) interests, but also its fundamental and ideological concerns,” he said in a recent commentary.

“For instance, in a hypothetical case of a conflict in Tibet or Xinjiang, China would never permit UN peacekeeping forces onto its territory.”

It’s not particularly surprising to hear that the Chinese government would take a similar stand to a UN resolution that attempted to target them; however, as John Prendergast and Don Cheadle point out in their recent book Not On Our Watch, China has been known to change its position when properly pressured.

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