China makes 'unremitting efforts' to resolve crisis in Darfur

Updated: 2008-02-16 19:18

KHARTOUM -- The Chinese government has made unremitting efforts to help resolve the crisis in Sudan's western region of Darfur, said Chinese Ambassador to Sudan Li Chengwen in an interview with Xinhua reporter based here on Saturday.

Li's statement came as a response to Hollywood movie director Steven Spielberg's action of withdrawal from 2008 Beijing Olympics, linking the Games to the nation's involvement in Sudan.

Spielberg on Wednesday announced his decision of withdrawal from 2008 Beijing Olympics as an artistic advisor, citing concerns over the crisis in Darfur and saying that China wasn't doing enough to pressure Sudan over the conflict in the region.

China is very concerned about the crisis in Darfur, and we have been making unremitting efforts to help resolve the crisis, Li said.

Firstly, China has been working closely with the United Nations to resolve the Darfur crisis through political means, said the ambassador.

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On July 31 last year, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1769, authorizing the deployment a hybrid UN and African Union (AU) force in Darfur, which marks a great achievement in the settlement of the crisis there.

China helped push forward the Sudanese government, the AU and the UN reaching consensus on the resolution on the hybrid force to Darfur, which did not come easily and our efforts have been applauded by the international community, Li said.

China also made proposals on the peaceful settlement of the Darfur issue, which were approved by various parties concerned.

What's more, last year when Sudan and the UN differed over the deployment of hybrid peacekeeping forces, China appointed Liu Guijin, a veteran diplomat as a special envoy on the issue, who traveled to Khartoum three times to persuade the Sudanese government to accept the UN resolution.

Liu also attended two peace talks on Darfur, and shuttled between the United States, major African countries, the UN, the AU, the Arab Union and the European Union, to facilitate the communication and coordination between various parties on the issue.

The Chinese government has also maintained sound communication with the Sudanese government, held discussions with it on the basis of respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China sees to it that the concerns of the Sudanese government are heard, while conveying to the government the international community's concern over Darfur.

Secondly, China has actively participated in the hybrid peacekeeping efforts in Darfur upheld by the UN and the AU, and is the first non-African country to sent peacekeeping troops to the Darfur region.

China has promised to send a 315-strong engineering unit to Darfur. A 140-member advance troop arrived in Darfur last November, the first UN peacekeeping force there in the region, and more will be gradually deployed.

The Chinese engineering troops have been actively engaged in the construction and other works in the UN peacekeeping camps, their outstanding contribution there won them hearty praises from the locals, and UN officials there said Chinese peacekeeping forces are making miracles happen there.

Thirdly, in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur, China has provided material assistance worth 80 million RMB (about 11 million U.S. dollars) to Darfur, 1.8 million U.S. dollars aid to African Union, and 500,000 U.S. dollars donation to the U.N. fund for solving Darfur issue, and Chinese firms have also offered help.

Fourthly, China also has encouraged entrepreneurs to help the development in the Darfur region.

In recent years, Chinese companies have helped dig 46 wells, build 20 small-scale power plants in Darfur and water supply projects in southern and northern Darfur states. Chinese companies also provided computer equipment and facilitated technical training in the region.

Therefore, as is obvious to anyone in the international community that is not biased against China, China has been playing its due part in helping resolve the Darfur issue, and that stance of China definitely deserves objective and just treatment, Li said.

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