China calls for dialogue to resolve Darfur crisis

Updated: 2007-05-15 20:36

China urged dialogue as the way to resolve the Darfur crisis as it defended its continued involvement Tuesday in the war-torn region.

China has been "playing a constructive role in getting these problems settled," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.

"We hope to press ahead with relevant parties to solve this issue peacefully and properly," she said at a regular briefing. "Dialogue and consultation are the correct and effective way to solve the Darfur issue."

More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced since February 2003, when ethnic African tribesmen took up arms, complaining of decades of neglect and discrimination by the Khartoum government. Sudanese authorities responded by unleashing both the military and government-backed rebels.

Jiang said that China has attached "great importance" to the effects of the work and that cooperation between the two sides is based on "equality and mutual benefit."

"The construction of that dam is very important to improving people's livelihood and it helps to improve people's living standards," she said.

"We hope that the congressmen of the United States can understand correctly China's position on the Darfur issue and the efforts China has been making," Jiang said. "We believe that the settlement of the Darfur issue should be based on the respect of the sovereignty of the government of Sudan and it should be settled peacefully."

Trade between China and Africa has quadrupled over the last decade, generating US$40 billion in 2005. Beijing has also become a major supplier of aid, last year announcing US$10 billion in assistance from 2006 to 2009.

The African Development Bank's annual meeting is being hosted this week in Shanghai, with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attending the opening ceremony on Wednesday, a sign of China's growing engagement with the continent.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours