Spiegel has an update.
With commodity prices rising around the globe, things are looking good for oil-rich Sudan. Economic growth is at 12.2 percent and oil production now stands at 480,000 barrels a day. Around 30,000 Chinese live in “Bilad al-Sudan”, the “Land of Black People.” Nigerian daily This Day wrote disapprovingly that “China’s distasteful romance with Khartoum” has made Sudan’s Islamist regime under President Omar al-Bashir largely independent of the US and Europe.
However, the Chinese now have other things on their mind. Beijing sees the 2008 Olympics, which China is hosting, as a unique opportunity to boost its status abroad — and cozying up to murderous Islamist thugs is unlikely to help its image. So China’s leaders have joined the voices calling for an end to the war in Darfur.
And some encouraging noises can be heard in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. “Peace is within our grasp,” a well-known presenter cheerfully announced on state television, adding that, “We’re cooperating in a friendly manner with the United Nations and the African Union.”