US and China Relations over South Sudan
The United States and China have expressed their different foreign policies with regards to the situation in South Sudan. According to a New York Times report, “China on Friday questioned the logic behind a U.S. push to create a United Nations sanctions regime for South Sudan while warring parties there negotiate a power-sharing deal to end the conflict in the country, the world’s newest state.”
There has been significant fighting in South Sudan since late 2013 between forces loyal to South Sudan’s President Salva Kir, and others backing Riek Machar, who used to be Kir’s Deputy (New York Times, 2015). Overall, “Fighting in the oil-producing nation, which is one of the world’s poorest, has killed more than 10,000 people, driven more than a million from their homes and left many without enough food” (Reuters, 2015).
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The core of the U.S. draft resolution, obtained by Reuters, is a threat to impose an asset freeze and travel ban for anyone undermining security or interfering with the peace process after March 5 and April 1 deadlines set by the eight-nation East African IGAD bloc.
IGAD has so far been unsuccessful in its attempts to mediate an end to the civil war in the impoverished oil producing state. China is a major investor in South Sudan’s oil industry.
China is planning on sending peacekeepers to the country (New York Times, 2015; Reuters, 2015). It is important for the international community to work tirelessly to ensure that citizens are protected from the violence, and that they have the necessary food available. This is a troubling conflict, and one that deserves the international community’s dedicated attention.