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China and Intervention at the UN Security CouncilReconciling Status$
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Courtney J. Fung

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198842743

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198842743.001.0001

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Status and Intervention in Darfur, Sudan 2004–2008

Status and Intervention in Darfur, Sudan 2004–2008

(p.63) 4 Status and Intervention in Darfur, Sudan 2004–2008
China and Intervention at the UN Security Council

Courtney J. Fung

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 analyzes China’s decision to shift its position on intervention in Sudan over the Darfur crisis. China went from viewing Sudan’s problems as domestic affairs not for the UN Security Council’s purview, to actively supporting intervention. China wrangled and effectively “enforced” consent from Khartoum for a UN Charter Chapter VII peacekeeping mission, and acquiesced to a referral of the Sudan case to the International Criminal Court, which led to an indictment of sitting President Omar al-Bashir. Though this case is popularly understood as being determined by material drivers—like shielding the Sino-Sudanese economic relationship, or addressing the reputational threat of the “Genocide Olympics” to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games—the chapter demonstrates that status is the key variable to explain China’s shifting position. Under mounting pressure from both the great powers (the “P3” of the United States, the United Kingdom, France) and the African Union, in particular, China gravitated to supporting and permitting intervention with a yes vote for the UN-AU Hybrid Peace Operation (UNAMID) and an abstention vote for an International Criminal Court referral in 2005, and again in 2008.

Keywords:   China, United Nations, Darfur, Sudan, Genocide Olympics, African Union, International Criminal Court, peacekeeping, UNAMID, Omar al-Bashir

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