Americans, who have been mud wrestling in the brutal world of oil since right after Colonel Drake’s Pennsylvania well in 1859, welcome China to the ugliness. Now how about we all start building wind turbines and concentrating solar fields like there’s no tomorrow? (Which, for 9 Chinese oil workers, is now the case.)
China’s Expansion Puts Workers in Harm’s Way; Attack on Ethiopian Oil Fields Highlights Perils of Pursuing Resources Abroad
Edward Cody, April 25, 2007 (Washington Post)
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Chinese oil workers with China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), ethnic Somali rebels
Nothing new in the oil world: A raid on a Sinopec drilling site in Ethiopia left 74 dead. 9 dead Chinese oil workers, 7 kidnapped. China faces a new level of risk in pursuit of energy resources, especially oil, necessary for its barreling economic expansion.
The Somali rebel attack and deaths were April 24. Kidnappings, wounding and death in 2007.
The attack was in eastern Ethiopia’s Ogaden Desert. 16 Chinese oil workers have been kidnapped in Nigeria, 1 oil worker dead and 1 wounded in Kenya.
4 million Chinese work abroad, many in dangerous African nations. The Chinese people are increasingly adamant that the government keep them safe. Because the Sinopec Ethiopia facility was guarded by 100 Ethiopian soldiers, the question of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s neutrality toward dangerous or failing governments is being raised, forcing the government to curtail internet dialogue. The Foreign Ministry’s neutrality is designed to avoid seeming an intruder with colonial ambitions but locals are reacting with hostility nevertheless.
- Stratfor, a security consulting firm: "China now faces the dilemma of any country that undertakes an active foreign policy, particularly one with a foreign policy in no small part based on the acquisition of resources…It must now decide how much to get involved in other countries' internal security issues."
- From the internet: "If you want to make money there, why wouldn't you send your own troops to provide security?" one contributor wrote. "It seems we should learn from the early colonial powers."
- Liu Lide, retired ambassador/Chinese envoy in Africa: "Chinese economic activities in African countries are on the basis of cooperation and friendship… We want to work not only with African governments but also with African people…These people [the rebels] had bad intentions…Their goal was to sabotage China's relations with the Ethiopian government."