Economic prosperity and basketball. Those are two things neither the United States nor China could seem to live without these days. This by way of mentioning the White House Flickr feed, which is pretty cool. Here, “Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan, center, holds the autographed basketball given to him by President Barack Obama following their Oval Office meeting Tuesday, July 28, 2009, to discuss the outcomes of the first U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Looking on at left is Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo.”
The U.S. and Chinese governments have not seen eye to eye on the issue of the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. China, for one thing, gets a lot of oil from Sudan. The Chinese government, too, has strong incentives not to support military intervention when not welcomed by the government of Sudan. Though the Sudanese genocide and human rights issues in Tibet are not comparable, some analysts I’ve spoken to have speculated that China might even veto a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the “responsibility to protect”-based circumvention of the principle of national sovereignty. Inviolable borders, they say, are a big priority for the Chinese government.
Neither the United States nor China is now calling for a full-blown military intervention, but after a recent discussion between Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and China’s new pressure on Sudan to act, the countries seem to be more or less working together.
I wonder if this will temper some groups’ calls for a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing on human rights grounds.