China’s role in global diplomacy under spotlight

With the ongoing session of the United Nations General Assembly, observers are focusing on China’s increasing influence over a number of thorny issues facing the gathering. From a San Francisco Chronicle report about China’s relationship with Iran:

With Iran’s nuclear enrichment program at the center of high-stakes multinational negotiations, China is in the awkward position of passing judgment in the U.N. Security Council on the very technology it helped the Islamic republic accumulate.

For more than a decade, starting in 1984, China aided Iran with its fledgling nuclear program. Although Beijing no longer is providing such assistance, Tehran’s weapons program would be far less sophisticated had it not received significant Chinese help. [Full text]

And a Washington Post editorial on China’s role in the Darfur crisis:

THE NEXT FEW days will show whether China means to let Sudan’s dictatorship get away with genocide. A series of meetings at the United Nations in New York offers the best and possibly the last chance to persuade the Sudanese to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur. The deployment is required by a Security Council resolution passed last month. It is supported by nearly all the leading powers and even by factions within Sudan’s government. But China has so far refused to tell Sudan’s isolated leaders to drop their opposition to a U.N. contingent, even though its extensive investments in Sudan give it the power to do so. If it wants to be regarded as a responsible power, China should use its leverage. [Full text]

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