For Immediate Release: July 10, 2008
NEW YORK— China’s extensive military and political ties with Sudan are unveiled in a new media guide, released today by a leading human rights group in anticipation of the opening of the Beijing Olympics this summer.
The new Human Rights First guide–“China: Hosting Olympics-Sponsoring War” – includes details and statistics about oil trade, arms deals and political dealings between the two countries. The information is drawn from the findings of a report released by the group this spring–“Investing in Tragedy: China’s Money, Arms and Politics in Sudan– as part of its year-long “Made in China” campaign.
The guide illustrates the dynamics of the relationship between China and Sudan, which is driven by a cyclical oil for arms trade and that hinges on China’s political protection of Sudan in international arenas. While most other countries have scaled back and in many cases completely stopped shipping arms to Sudan in compliance with a 2005 UN Security Council arms embargo, China has stepped in to fill the void, becoming the largest provider of small arms to Sudan. Among the guides other findings:
· China holds the controlling interest in eight of nine Sudanese oil blocks believed to have significant reserves, forming the basis of a long-term relationship.
· Since 2004, China has provided Khartoum with an average of 90 percent of its small arms.
· China has helped to train Sudan’s army and has built munitions plants, hydroelectric dams and thousands of kilometers of oil pipelines in the country.
· China buys 75 percent of Sudan’s exports and has given Sudan more than $1 billion in no- or low-income loans and has forgiven at least $80 million of this debt.
· Despite Sudan’s constant obstruction of the international peacekeeping force and the war crimes investigation by the International Criminal Court, China has blocked resolutions aimed at imposing sanctions on Sudanese officials,
The guide comes as China works to present itself as a responsible and harmonious global actor in the lead up to the Summer Olympic Games, by trying to deflect the world’s attention from its ongoing arms sales to Sudan.
Since 2003, the government of Sudan has orchestrated a campaign of terror in Darfur, leaving more than 300,000 people dead and at least 2.5 million homeless. During this period, China has strengthened its political, economic, and military relationship with the government of Sudan and largely ignored the mass atrocities in the region. If China does not stop its arms sales to Sudan, the theme of the Summer Olympic Games, “one world, one dream” is bound to ring hollow for the millions of people in Darfur who have been devastated by more than five years of violence.
“China: Hosting Olympics-Sponsoring War” can be viewed online at: /wp-content/uploads/pdf/080709-MIC-HRF-China-War%20Sponsor.pdf