In a previous post, we talked about the economic powers China is deploying in Africa. But with that comes also the expansion of its political power.
Some of it has well known. The best example is China's documented circumvention of the UN Security council's arms embargo against Sudan on one hand, and on the other hand Big Red's veto power leashing the Council's ability to lash out against Sudan.
But this week, it went a little more undercover. Earlier this week, the South African government denied issuing the Dalai Lama a visa to attend a peace conference. As a result several other key figures pulled back in a sign of protest, and in the end the whole conference was cancelled.
Today, the South African government admitted it decided to bar the Dalai Lama from attending, to avoid undermining relations with China.
A cabinet statement said that while South Africa had not acted on a specific demand from Beijing, it was not prepared to "jeopardise" ties nor allow itself to be used as a political platform in the run-up to the hosting of next year's football World Cup. (Full)
Picture courtsey From Sandton to Shanghai