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A nation must think before it acts.
China’s efforts to secure foreign oil and natural gas to meet its growing energy demand are contributing to massive human rights violations in Sudan and Burma. These human rights conflicts, significantly influenced by abundant oil and gas reserves, have strained U.S.-China relations and complicated international efforts to create a more effective architecture to address both rights crises and conflict management over energy resources. The United States and its allies should not only engage Beijing but also bring Chinese national oil companies into the international energy market as stakeholders. Failure to address these matters could encourage other parties seeking scarce energy supplies to take similar compromises on human rights as they court questionable oil regimes, a development that would be detrimental to international peace and security.