[Marxism] China's Unsavory Friends

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 24 18:24:09 MDT 2006

You'd think that what with oil now going for $75 a barrell and gas
at over $3.00 a gallon, U.S. oil companies would want to find their
way into the Cuban market. And you'd be right about that. 

But there's a problem:
Washington doesn't believe in free trade. It's so desperate trying
to strangle the Cuban Revolution that it even denies U.S. business
the opportunity to compete in the Cuban market. Washington doesn't
believe in capitalism or free enterprise or competition or any of
the rest of that folderol. All they believe in is raw power...

Walter Lippmann

China's Unsavory Friends
By Gary J. Bass 
Sunday, April 23, 2006; B05

In years past, the Chinese government's poor human rights record was
only a problem for you if you happened to be Chinese. But as China's
power and influence in Asia grow, its hostility toward human rights
is becoming a problem for non-Chinese, too. Propelled mostly by
economic opportunism, China is fast becoming the friend of last
resort for some of the world's most isolated dictators and bad guys
-- in Asia and beyond.
Much of the Chinese government's support for bad guys is driven by
its need for energy. (This condition is hardly unique to China --
look at the U.S. relationship with the Saudi monarchy.) Its search
for oil is more about the domestic needs of its red-hot economy than
about international primacy. In addition to Sudan and Uzbekistan,
China is hunting for energy resources in other pariah countries such
as Iran, Angola and Cuba. Hugo Chavez, the leftist president of
oil-rich Venezuela, has also reached out to China. Without mentioning
oil, I once asked an influential retired Chinese general about
China's relationships with so many dictatorships. He replied that
China picked its allies not by likes or dislikes but by practical
necessity, and that China was a developing country seeking energy

But oil is not the only factor. Chinese leaders worry about U.S.
hegemony, particularly when it's coupled with rhetoric about human
rights and democratization. As a matter of principle, the Chinese
government is deeply skeptical of military interventions to protect
human rights-- doubly so since NATO bombed China's embassy in
Belgrade in May 1999.

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