China calls for global efforts to aid Darfur

Updated: 2007-05-29 21:59

China on Tuesday urged the international community to provide aid for economic and social growth in Darfur, saying the region's problems were more to do with development than "genocide".

Liu Guijin, special representative of the Chinese government to Darfur, who concluded a fact-finding tour from May 19 to 23 to the western Sudanese region, said shortages of resources that had led to local tribes struggling for water and land were key problems in Darfur.

"The international community should provide not only humanitarian assistance, but also aid for economic and social growth," Liu said.

The Chinese government donated a new batch of humanitarian assistance materials for displaced people in Darfur on May 23, the second of four batches that the Chinese government had promised since 2005.

Liu said China had provided 30 million US dollars in development assistance to Sudan, and that investment by its oil companies had helped Sudan to develop more sophisticated oil exploration and refinery businesses.

The Chinese government would continue to provide material assistance to the region, including vehicles and water pumps that could help the region to resume production so as to achieve economic and social development, Liu said.

The special representative praised the Sudanese government and the international community's role in Darfur, saying his five-day trip, during which he visited the cities of Fashir and Nyala as well as three camps for displaced people, led him to believe the situation in Darfur was gradually improving.

"China will play a further active and constructive role in Darfur," Liu added.

Liu, 61, a veteran diplomat who has served in four African countries, reiterated the government's stance that linking political issues to the Beijing Olympic Games went against the spirit of the event.

"The Olympic Games are not to be politicized," he said. "Linking China's approach to the Darfur issue and the Olympic Games is totally untenable."

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