China FM: Don't politicize Olympics

Updated: 2007-05-18 20:15

China's foreign minister warned Friday that attempts to politicize Beijing's Olympic Games by highlighting the Darfur crisis will fail.

"There are a handful of people who are trying to politicize the Olympic Games," Yang Jiechi said at a press briefing with visiting British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. "Their objectives ... will never be attained."

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur since 2003, when local rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government, accusing it of decades of discrimination against Darfur's ethnic Africans.

A campaign to use the Olympics to put pressure on Beijing to do more to stop the violence has been gathering steam in recent weeks.

"The Chinese government, Chinese leaders and officials of the Chinese government at various levels are now in close touch and contact with relevant parties concerned," Yang said. "We hope that this issue will be resolved properly through dialogue and negotiation."

He said China believes "the political process and the peacekeeping operation should be pursued and promoted in a balanced manner."

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