Search

 

Cablegate: Response: China's Engagement in Sudan

VZCZCXRO3148
OO RUEHGI RUEHMA RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHKH #0667/01 1221459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011459Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0700
INFO RUCNFUR/DARFUR COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CJTF HOA IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KHARTOUM 000667

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR SU CH XA XE
SUBJECT: RESPONSE: CHINA'S ENGAGEMENT IN SUDAN

REF: SECSTATE 41697

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) China's engagement in Sudan centers on the pursuit
of its economic interests, particularly oil, and these
interests underpin its relationship with the ruling National
Congress Party (NCP). China's engagement on the political
issues related to the conflict in Darfur or tensions between
Northern and Southern Sudan has been limited, however,
despite the risk these issues pose to the country's stability
in the long term--and therefore to China's economic
involvement. Yet opportunities for useful Chinese engagement
abound. On Darfur, China can couple its support for and
contributions to UNAMID with bilateral political dialogue
with Khartoum in order to: 1) Facilitate UNAMID deployment,
2) Eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to humanitarian
operations, and 3) Gain acknowledgment of Darfurian's
legitimate grievances. On Southern Sudan, China can launch
infrastructure development projects that provide a "peace
dividend" for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the
Government of South Sudan (GOSS). Lastly, China's mission in
Sudan can be a more active participant in Khartoum-level
discussions on improving security and humanitarian access in
Darfur and overcoming the major obstacles to the CPA,
particularly resolution of the Abyei issue and preparations
for the elections in 2009. End summary.

-------------
Oil, oil, oil
-------------

2. (SBU) Chinese engagement in Sudan centers on the pursuit
of its economic interests, particularly oil. China is
primarily responsible for the development of Sudan's
petroleum industry and the main beneficiary of it. The
Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been
present in Sudan since 1996 and currently has the largest
share in Sudan's most productive blocks (namely blocks 1/2/4
producing the high quality Nile blend and blocks 3/7
producing the lower quality Dar blend). Due to rising
production in blocks 3 and 7 in 2007, crude oil exports from
Sudan to China doubled last year to approximately 200,00
barrels a days, with many estimates ranking Sudan as China's
sixth-largest oil supplier. These ties underpin China's
relationship with the ruling National Congress Party of
President Al-Bashir.

3. (SBU) The CNPC's contracts with the GNU now
disproportionately benefit China. However, oil experts,
including the Norwegian Petroleum Envoy to Sudan, assert that
even if the contracts were renegotiated, China will be more
focused on energy security and access to oil than to its
price. Other experts emphasize that Chinese companies appear
anxious to extract oil as quickly and cheaply as possible,
which proves detrimental to the longevity of the wells and
the environment. Allega4R2;Q---------------------------------- --
Tentative China-Southern Sudan Relations
----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Chinese economic engagement in Southern Sudan,
however, has been significantly more limited. Tentative
steps to strengthen China's relationship with the Government
of Southern Sudan (GoSS) have yielded few concrete results.
In the first high-level contact, GoSS President Salva Kiir
visited Beijing in the summer of 2007 and met with the senior
Chinese leadership. While the Chinese have pledged to open a
consulate in Juba, construction has not yet begun, and the
only visible diplomatic engagement with the GoSS occurred
when the Chinese Ambassador visited Juba in late 2007 with a
large Chinese delegation.

5. (SBU) The Ministry of Regional Cooperation (the de facto
GoSS Foreign Ministry) attributes the lack of progress on the
China-GoSS relationship both to lingering Southern resentment
toward China because of its backing for the North and the
Ministry's own lack of capacity to focus on developing the
relationship. Though a Chinese technical assessment team
traveled through the South to survey power needs and China
has expressed an interest in infrastructure projects, no
significant investment projects in Southern Sudan are

KHARTOUM 00000667 002 OF 002


underway.

------------
Peacekeeping
------------

6. (SBU) To burnish its international image, China has
contributed military forces to the two peacekeeping missions
operating in the country: the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS)
which monitors the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that
ended the North/South civil war and the UN-African Union
Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). While Chinese units in UNAMID
are handicapped by delays in equipment deliveries, the UNMIS
Force Commander has often reported that Chinese units in his
force are among the most disciplined and effective of any
contingent. Additional Chinese troop contributions to UNAMID
should be encouraged.

---------------------------
Little Political Engagement
---------------------------

7. (SBU) China's engagement on political issues related to
the conflict in Darfur or the tensions between Northern and
Southern Sudan has been limited. Focusing its ire on
Darfur's rebel groups, China has not demonstrated a
willingness to press Khartoum to take initial steps that
would build confidence in a peace process. Similarly, Beijing
has used little or no leverage to overcome the obstacles to
implementation of the CPA, the single most determinative
factor on Sudan's future stability. While the Chinese
Ambassador and US CDA speak frequently and compare notes on
political issues, common cause with the U.S. Mission in Sudan
on these pressing issues is more or less non-existent.

----------------------------------
A New U.S.-China Dialogue on Sudan
----------------------------------

8. (SBU) A U.S. dialogue with China on its engagement in
Sudan should focus on confronting the gravest challenges to
the country's future. In addition to providing measurable
progress on U.S. priorities in Sudan, a combination of
Chinese actions on Darfur, in Southern Sudan, and within the
diplomatic community will contribute to managing and
resolving Sudan's numerous internal conflicts and thus
securing China's economic interests in the country over the
long-term.

9. (SBU) On Darfur, China can couple its support for and
contributions to UNAMID with bilateral political dialogue
with the NCP in order to: 1) Facilitate UNAMID deployment, 2)
Eliminate bureaucratic obstacles to humanitarian operations
(as embodied in the March 2007 Joint Communique between Sudan
and the UN), and 3) Acknowledge the legitimate grievances of
Darfurians with regard to political marginalization and
resource sharing, which inspired the rebellion in 2003 and
sustain support among the population for intransigent rebel
leaders. If China were willing to participate in P-5 joint
demarches to the GOS, this would make a significant
impression on the Khartoum regime is/when it raises obstacles.

10. (SBU) On Southern Sudan, China can demonstrate a more
balanced approach by launching infrastructure development
projects in critical areas such as roads and social services,
in both the South and the Three Areas. Such programs will
increase the CPA's "peace dividend" and contribute to the
broader USG goal of making unity attractive to Southern
Sudanese--which can proceed irrespective of the GoSS' lack of
capacity for diplomatic engagement.

11. (SBU) Finally, China's mission in Sudan can be a more
active participant in Khartoum-level discussions on improving
security and humanitarian access in Darfur and advancing the
critical components of the CPA, particularly resolution of
the Abyei issue and preparations for the elections in 2009
instead of just parroting the NCP's standard party line.
While discussions do not in and of themselves guarantee
progress, such participation would signify to the NCP more
constructive Chinese oversight of its policies as well as
affect greater Western and Chinese cooperation in addressing
these challenges. Indeed, Chinese officials were visible
during the negotiations--and the signing--of the Joint
Humanitarian Communique in 2007, which contributed to its
initial success.
FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC