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
"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."