By: Kenneth Schortgen Jr December 3, 2012
When President Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 under the guise of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, many Americans held the belief that our soldiers were going to war in the Middle East region for the primary purpose of protecting our oil interests, just as we have done for decades. While little of that oil has actually been provided to the U.S. through our democratizing of Iraq, the lives of thousands of American serviceman now appear to have died so that China could reap the benefits of the newly installed government.
On Dec. 2, a new report on oil contracts in Iraq show that China is quickly engaging themselves in establishing a foothold in the new Democracy, and gaining new resource agreements in the aftermath of 10 years of American conflict.
In the past decade or so, China waited patiently on the sidelines while the U.S. and its allies coped with Iraq’s new, and often times messy internal dynamics that followed the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein by a U.S.-led coalition. China reemerged in 2008, however, to sign post-Saddam Iraq’s first major oil deal with a foreign country. While the majority of Iraqi oil deals in the post-Saddam era were awarded to Western firms, the Western shift to a more amenable and independent oil-rich Kurdish region in the north amid disenchantment with southern Iraq is creating a vacuum that China has found hard to resist.
As of 2010, China had made five major oil investments in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, one of which was in Kurdistan.
Relations are already on the right foot. To create goodwill with Baghdad, Beijing in 2010 forgave about 80 percent of Iraq’s $8.5 billion debt to China and has signed multibillion-dollar trade deals in various sectors, including industry, government, tourism, and transportation. – The Diplomat
China, like Japan, has always been a nation in need of energy resources to sustain their industrial and societal growth. However, China has recently taken the turn as global wholesaler of oil, to both ensure its own supply, and to bring pressure against the petro-dollar and U.S. hegemony over the currency. Within the past two years, China has made multiple resource agreements with Russia, Japan, Iran, Australia, Africa, other BRIC nations, and now they are adding Iraq to the list. Additionally, China has already laid the groundwork for mining operations in Afghanistan, another country where American soldiers fought and died to open the corridors of economic freedom and democracy. Read More