China hit back at critics of its policy on Sudan on Thursday, saying forcing
U.N. troops on Khartoum would complicate efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis
and calling attempts to link its policies there with the Olympics "ridiculous".
"The 2008 Olympic Games is a sports event. To link a
sports event with the position of the Chinese government on the Darfur issue is
ridiculous, " said Liu Guijin, China's representative on African affairs.
Liu said pushing Sudan to accept a proposed hybrid force of U.N. and African
Union peacekeepers would hinder efforts within Sudan to forge a resolution to
the conflict in Darfur.
"If you are to address the issues of a sovereign state, than the solution
will not work without the support of and collaboration from that government,"
Liu told Reuters in an interview.
Should Sudan delay approval of the force, the United States and Britain want
to push for sanctions, something China -- a veto-wielding member of the U.N.
Security Council -- has opposed.
"The Sudanese government has indicated that it is ready to have discussions
with the rebel leaders for the purpose of bringing them to join the DPA (Darfur
"In this circumstance, to announce more sanctions will further complicate the
situation," Liu said.