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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Morning Coming Down
The lyrics somehow seemed to fit my morning quite well.

I am usually not all that interested in this whole the emergence of China as an economic and political world power subject. But there was an article in yesterday's LeMonde that really caught my attention. I had not seen any mention of this in either the German, nor the American papers I consume, maybe I just hadn't seen it, maybe this is due to the French post-colonial aspirations in Africa. Whatever the reason, it was quite astonishing to read that the Chinese government is currently holding a conference with 48 (I repeat 48!, according to Wikipedia there are 61 in total) African dirigeants (prime ministers, presidents or brotherly leaders and guides of the revolution) in Beijing. Hu Jintao dubbed this an événement historique and definitelyly agree. In fact this is just crazy, China is really exerting itself in Africa and this I find is quite scary.

Why is this scary? Quite simple, to just give one example, look at Sudan. Everybody knows there is a genocide supported by the government taking place. So why does no one act on this? Yes, forces are stretched thin, the Americans can barely sustain their troop strength in Iraq, the rest of the West is busy in Lebanon, the Congo, Afghanistan and so on, but could one not at least impose sanctions against the Sudan? If one just tightens the economic screws a little the fallout in Khartoum would be massive and would definitely increase pressure on Al-Bashir to act against the crimes committed in Darfur. This is where China comes into the picture. Urgently in need of esourceses to further fuel their astonishing growth (and thus protect the Communist Party's grip on power, but that is another story that I will not get into right now) the Sudan is one of their biggest importers of oil. Now, China as a veto-power in the Security Council has and will block any attempt to force the Sudan into any kind of less murderous policy.

Notre principe dans nos relations avec les autres pays est de ne jamais chercher à imposer notre système social, notre mode de développement nos valeurs, ni notre idéologie. Basically what the Chinese in Africa are saying is that, we don't give a fuck how cruel or with what methods you govern your country, nor do we care how you came into power in the first place as long as you trade with us (translation of diplomatic French into plain English provided by yours truly). Disgusting that.

Two side notes to close this.

French companies have invested 25 billion Euro in Iran over the last fifteen years, wonder how that will influence the French stance on sanctions against Iran.

According to LeMonde Deval Patrick has decent chances of being elected governor of Massachusetts, that would make him the second (yes, second!) black governor ever (yes, ever!) elected in the United States. Also, something which I hadn't known either is that Barack Obama is the only black Senator currently holding office. What a sad state of affairs.

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