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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chinese Diplomacy Turns to Intimidation When Questionable Chinese Actions Uncovered

reports Colum Lynch in Foreign Policy.

Some excerpts from Lynch's post :
China has escalated a campaign of pressure against the U.N.'s chief sanctions enforcers, blocking the reappointment this month of a U.N. arms investigator who discovered Chinese bullet shells in Darfur, Sudan, in violation of a 6 year-old U.N. arms embargo.
Beijing's action could undermine the independence of numerous panels of U.N. experts responsible for enforcing U.N. sanctions and arms embargos, according to former U.N. arms experts and diplomats. One top council diplomat called China's behavior "deplorable," saying it sends a troubling message that any U.N. expert who delves into China's role in the illicit arms trade may lose his job.
The dispute places another harsh spotlight on Chinese diplomacy at a time when President Hu Jintao is preparing to hold his final high-level summit at the White House Wednesday with President Barack Obama. It also highlighted how China's expanding global interests, including a burgeoning small arms trade in Africa, are colliding with some of the United States priorities at the United Nations. Since 2001, China has supplied Khartoum with 72 percent of its imports of small arms and light weapons, according to Sudanese customs data cited by the Small Arms Survey.
Investigations into arms trafficking have increasingly focused on China, rather than countries in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, whose nationals sold massive numbers of surplus weapons to African clients in the 1990s.
While Beijing has worked constructively with Washington on many high priority U.N. issues, striking agreements on tough U.N. sanctions resolutions against North Korea and Iran, it has sometimes impeded efforts to ensure those very same measures are actually enforced. And it is only one of many countries that have resisted the U.N.'s requests for help in tracing the illicit import of weapons into Africa's conflict zones.

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