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Ernest Wilson on China, Africa, & Oil

TMP Cafe has a long interesting post  by Ernest Wilson on China, Africa, and oil, a subject which in my opinion gets far too little attention. Here's a small extract, but read the whole thing:

It isn't clear which way China's petro-strategy will go - propping up dictators or promoting development, but it is a critical subject for China-hands and Africa-watchers alike. The answer may depend in part on what the U.S. does. Washington should press Beijing to be a better world citizen in Africa and elsewhere. Administration officials should meet regularly with the Chinese leadership to discuss the benefits of a more enlightened petro-policy, and the costs of clinging to dictators. Getting the Africans involved in this conversation would also be advantageous (especially Abuja and Pretoria), as well as the Europeans, since the French and the British certainly have their own long (and checkered) histories in African oil fields. A more enlightened China resource policy would smooth relations not just with Africa, but also Latin America and other parts of Asia too.

Ernest J. Wilson III is Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School at USC.