One year later, the China National Petroleum Corporation has struck oil at the Ahdab field in Wasit Province, southeast of Baghdad. And while the relationship between the company and the Iraqi government has gone smoothly, the presence of a foreign company with vast resources drilling for oil in this poor, rural corner of Iraq has awakened a wave of discontent here.A cautionary tale indeed: Don't be like the Chinese, who probably see the Iraqis as little better than the Uighurs, the Muslim PRC citizens of Xinjiang Autonomous Prefecture.
“We get nothing directly from the Chinese company, and we are suffering,” said Mahmoud Abdul Ridha, head of the Wasit provincial council, whose budget has been cut in half by Baghdad in the past year because of lower international oil prices. “There is an unemployment crisis. We need roads, schools, water treatment plants. We need everything.”
The result has been a local-rights movement — extraordinary in a country where political dissent has historically carried the risk of death — that in the past few months has begun demanding that at least $1 of each barrel of oil produced at the Ahdab field be used to improve access to clean water, health services, schools, paved roads and other needs in the province, which is among Iraq’s poorest.
The ripples are traveling far beyond this province, too. Frustrations have spilled over into sabotage and intimidation of Chinese oil workers, turning the Ahdab field into a cautionary tale for international oil companies seeking to join the rush to profit from Iraq’s vast untapped oil reserves.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Making friends wherever they go
Whenever I see a disgruntled someone or other ranting about Korea on some blog or whatever about how all of Korea's negative image from how badly [insert group here] is going to really hurt the country, I just laugh.
Because no matter how badly Korea might treat [insert profession here], there's always China. And China will always rise to the occasion to show that they have learned capitalist exploitation from the best of them.
Like in Iraq, where some unpleasant sh¡t may be coming down the pipeline (ha ha):
Anyway, for the Chinese, Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, whoever... Is it really that hard to give back a little to the people whose resources you're carting away?