Wednesday, February 27, 2008

China Getting Involved in Darfur?

One major fault line in global politics is the Chinese foreign policy dictum of non-interference vs. the West-sponsored human rights/enlightenment line which is for e.g. humanitarian interventions or at least believes in the right to humanitarian assistance, i.e. in moral imperatives. (More on China's foreign policy doctrine in this old post and more on China in Darfur in this post).

China might now be moving on Darfur - perhaps a sign that Spielberg's personal foreign policy is working?

China's envoy to Darfur has urged Sudan to accept the full deployment of a UN-African Union peacekeeping force. In a rare public rebuke to Khartoum, visiting envoy Liu Guijin said it should "co-operate better with the international community" on the force, according to a report by Chinese official news agency Xinhua. The force began deploying in January, but still lacks most of the 26,000 personnel planned for the mission - due in part to Sudanese objections concerning the international composition of the force. (...)

In his comments to Xinhua, Mr Liu said deploying the peacekeeping operation and resolving the Darfur issue required "the joint efforts of all sides. "First, the Sudan government should co-operate better with the international community and demonstrate greater flexibility on some technical issues. Next, anti-government organisations in the Darfur region should return to the negotiating table."

China has long had strong trade and military links with Khartoum, which is accused of backing militias that have raped and murdered civilians in Darfur - accusations it denies. But Beijing is keen to show it is playing a positive role in the region, says the BBC's Amber Henshaw in Khartoum. Mr Liu said Sudan only bought 8% of its weapons from China and said if China stopped selling weapons, they could easily be purchased from other countries.

Here, from the BBC.

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