Archive for the ‘Darfur’ Category

Chinese oil workers kidnapped in Sudan

October 19, 2008

SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer

KHARTOUM, Sudan – Unknown assailants kidnapped nine Chinese oil workers in southern Sudan, a Chinese diplomat in Khartoum said Sunday.

The men were working Saturday when they were abducted in southern Kordofan province, the epicenter of Sudan’s oil industry and next to Darfur where ethnic African rebels are fighting the Arab-dominated government.

A farmer rides past a PetroChina petrol station in Beijing. ... 
A farmer rides past a PetroChina petrol station in Beijing. Nine Chinese oil workers have been kidnapped near Sudan’s disputed central oil district of Abyei, the Chinese embassy has said, with a Sudanese driver also feared missing.(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)

A search was under way for the men, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Several workers were not taken and managed to inform authorities, he added.

The rebels, along with many international rights activists, accuse China of indirectly funding Khartoum’s war effort in Darfur through massive investment in Sudan’s oil industry.

China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil exports, and oil sales account for 70 percent of the African country’s export revenue.

Darfur rebels attacked the Chinese-run Defra oil field in Kordofan last October, kidnapped two foreign workers and gave Chinese and other oil companies a week to leave the country.

Two months later, Darfur rebels attacked an army garrison in another Chinese-run oil field in the same province.

Some 140 Chinese engineers and troops are also deployed in Darfur and were among the first reinforcements sent by the United Nations, which took over peacekeeping in the western Sudanese region in January.

The Sudanese government quickly approved the Chinese contingent, even as it vetoed contributions from other countries because they were not African — including a Scandinavian engineering corps.

 

An oil rig in a file photo. (File/Reuters) ...
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Darfur: UN says 40,000 displaced in last 2 months

October 18, 2008

Some 40,000 civilians have been displaced in Darfur in the last two months by fighting between Sudanese government forces and rebels in the northern and central parts of the wartorn region, said the U.N. on Saturday.

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, right, opens a three-day meeting ...
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, right, opens a three-day meeting to discuss the situation in Darfur, at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum, Sudan Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. The meeting is being attended by regional supporters of President Omar al-Bashir, including the African Union, the Arab League, Egypt, Libya and Qatar, but Darfur rebel groups critical to any peace talks are absent.(AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

The estimate is based on witness accounts, a brief assessment mission and reports by the Sudanese government and aid agencies working in the area, said Gregory Alex, the head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in North Darfur.

“No emergency assistance has gotten to these people,” said Alex. “For the last five or six weeks, they have been living off assistance they are getting from other people … or what they can scrounge for.”

Most of the newly displaced are living in the desert rather than in refugee camps, said Alex. Many of them had been displaced by fighting before but had returned ahead of the recent attacks, he added.

More than 2.5 million people have been displaced in Darfur and up to 300,000 killed since ethnic African groups rebelled against the Arab-dominated national government early in 2003.

A recent round of fighting began in August when government troops attacked rebel-held areas along the border with Libya in northern Darfur — sometimes accompanied by aircraft and Arab militias.

In September, the fighting moved south toward more populated areas. But the U.N. and aid workers said they have had little access to the areas because of the continued tension.

Some villages in the Jebel Marrah area in central Darfur were totally emptied by the September fighting, said an international aid worker, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government harassment.

The locals in the area were warned ahead of the fighting and about 10,000 of them fled before it broke out, said the aid worker….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081018/ap_on_re_af/af_
sudan_darfur;_ylt=AoHecBqHdIdOjWT0aK1UxZWs0NUE

Why Obama Worries About Half the Electorate

October 18, 2008

Sadly, I find myself disappointed by both Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain and their presidential campaigns.  But I have a brother who says, “never watch football until the last two minutes.”

So now we are in the “two minute drill,” and today’s Zogby Poll says Obama leads McCain 48% to 44%.
Zogby October 18: Obama 48%; McCain 44%
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But many voters have expressed dismay, anger and even rage about this year’s election campaign.  “We are being taken for a ride my a pack of lies and a biased media,” one man wrote to us.  Others have complained about ACORN, Senator Obama’s friends and acquaintances including terrorist Bill Ayers and the Rev. Wright, McCain’s seemingly inept way of making his points, Sara Palin’s lack of “big city” experience and Joe Biden’s gaffes.  Here we will attempt to summarize many of these regrets and concerns and provoke additional thought and discussion….

Preadidential Election 2008: Obama and McCain
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The Media
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“Doesn’t the media have a responsibility to be unbiased and even handed about politics and politicians?” a voter asked us by email.

The answer is, journalism schools teach and preach honesty, integrity and the importance of unbiased and fair coverage.  But the teaching seems to be falling on deaf ears.

“Americans’ perception of the national media as too biased and too liberal have grown significantly over the past two decades. In less than twenty years, since the 1985 Times Mirror polls began routinely assessing the public’s perceptions of the national media, the percentage of Americans who perceive a liberal bias has doubled from 22 percent to 45 percent, nearly half the adult population. Even Democrats now generally regard the press as a liberal entity.”

The above is a news flash from 2008, right?  Hardly.  That paragraph came from a Media Research Center article entitled “The Liberal Media” written by Rich Noyes on June 30, 2004!

Noyes also wrote in 2004, “the gap between the media and the public has grown considerably. A dozen years later, the same research group — now the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press — found that ‘the American public is more critical of press practices, less enthusiastic about the news product and less appreciative of the watchdog role played by the news media than it was a dozen years ago when The People and The Press surveys were inaugurated.’”

So the so called “liberal media” is not new and is not a figment of your imagination: it is a reality.  What we at Peace and Freedom object to most is the seemingly total disregard for any attempt to be fair and unbiased as exemplified by MSNBC, NBC and The New York Times.  We noticed that as Senator McCain joked about Chris Matthews and the MSNBC and NBC bias at Thurday’s Alfred E. Smith dinner, NBC’s evening news host Brian Williams looked down into his lap — apparently in shame and avoiding the stares of McCain and the audience.  We also noted that when Senator Joe Biden decided to attack Joe the Plumber, the good Senator chose NBC as his medium, appearing to launch the attack on NBC’s “Today Show” and end ing the day on NBC with Jay Leno.

So the “biased and liberal media” is a fact of life and much of what they tell us needs to be taken with a grain of salt or thrown out all together.

Obama’s Acquaintances, Friends, and Race
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“Why is it that if anyone mentions Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, ACORN, Louis Farrakhan and some of the other Obama friends and acquaintances he is attacked as a racist?”

This question came to us early in the campaign and continues to appear not daily but at least once or twice a week.

Remember when Sarah Palin made fun of Obama’s resume line trumpeting his experience as a “community organizer”?  Team Obama and their surrogates were all over her.  Mrs. Palin obviously didn’t understand the issues of the inner city, race and disenfranchised and under appreciated voters.

But recent revelations about ACORN (The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) seem to indicate that there is some segment of the “community organizer” community that shouldn’t be trusted or respected.  In fact, the FBI is investigating ACORN and there may be some significant lawbreaking, theft, fraud and scurrilous behavior among “community organizers.”

See:
ACORN Board of Directors Meet Amid Internal Lawsuit, $1M Embezzlement Caper, Leadership Struggle
and
ACORN Now Subject of Major FBI Probe

Questioning ACORN and other such organizations isn’t racism: it is something that makes sense and needs to be done, especially since the media has seemingly given ACORN and Mr. Obama a pass….

Senator Obama himself said a Special Prosecutor may be needed to look into ACORN’s activities.

How about Rev. Jeremiah Wright?  All we know is that his videotaped sermons looked anti-American, over the top, and inflammatory.  He even said “God damn America.”  And Senator Obama seemed to be oblivious to these comments, espoused weekly from the church pulpit where he went to “worship” for more than 20 years.

Supporters say that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is misunderstood.
Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Said “God damn America”
during church sermon. Obama was a member of
the church and contributed money for some 20 years….

On Bill Ayers, a former FBI agent told us (my Dad was in the FBI) that he “wouldn’t shake the hand of an anti-American domestic terrorist like Bill Ayers.”  Mr. Obama considers Bill Ayers as a friend.

So, without belaboring the facts of Barack Obama’s friends and acquaintenances, we find a very troubling pattern of people in Barack Obam’s life: and the lack of honest men of principles and integrity we see in Senator McCain’s life.  And we know this a matter of opinion so decide for yourself….

See:
 Obama & McCain: Who’s Playing the Race Card?
and
What Kind Of Men Were With John McCain In The Hanoi Hilton? Men of Character….
and
 Chicago, Academics Defend Bill Ayers; Former FBI Agents Outraged
and 
Obama and ACORN: Relationship May Be More Extensive Than Candidate Says

Are the Candidates and Their Surrogates Truthful?

“Strapped to a polygraph on national TV, I would assert quite confidently that I would strongly condemn thuggish and criminal tactics by a candidate I supported. The ends do not justify the means for me and most other conservatives I know. I wish I believed the same were true for liberals, far too many of whom are deliberately turning their backs on the corruption defining Barack Obama’s campaign.”

The above paragraph is from David Limbaugh writing in The Washington Times on October 16, 2008.
See: Voters Can Still Wake Up: Corruption Defining Barack Obama’s Campaign

Clearly, as my email proves, liberals think McCain is a filthy liar and conservatives think the same of Obama.  What I look for is a patter.  Decide for yourself.

Legislative Record 

We do believe that John McCain has an incredible, even a unique record of legislative accomplishment.  The McCain Feingold Bill was a partnership with a liberal Democrat aimed at reforming the election donation process.

The Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill was also a partnership of the conservative McCain with a liberal Democrat, Senator Ted Kennedy.

McCain is a legislative maverick, teaming with Democrats on issues of importance

 Mr. Obama’s state legislature record includes many “present” votes, which we see as an indication of a lack of integrity.  And as for his U.S. Senate record, he has been running toward the White House most of the time and not doing any lammaking.   So please point out one piece of U.S. Senate legislation sponsored by Mr. Obama.  And then, please show us one piece of U.S. Senate legislation Senator Obama co-sponsored with a member of the Republican Party…..

Taxes
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John McCain is a rather typical Ronald Reagan Republican on taxes: he believes that lower taxes stimulate growth so much that the loss of tax revenue due to tax cuts is outweighed by new jobs, growth and prosperity.

Senator Obama said to Joe the Plumber that he believes in income redistribution.  This again came up in the final presidential debate which earned Joe the Plumber an attack from Team Obama, including Joe Biden’s Today Show and Jay Leno assaults on NBC.  So, Team Obama attacked the messenger (the plumber) but has not denied the fact that the Obama tax plan is a socialist class warfare plan….But you decide…..

Plus, given the recent Wall Street and home mortgage disaster, we find it impossible to see how Mr. Obama can come up with the money to do all the things he promises, including tax relief, more money for health care, and additional funding for schools and education.  With me, Mr. Obama seems to have missed the fact that the U.S. owes China over one trillion dollars, owes the American people almost as much now due to the Bush bailout, and that the economic crash has greatly reduced planned-for tax revenues.  My state and county are tightening their spending belt — but Mr. Obama continues to promise huge federal spending increases and tax breaks.  I just do not believe anything he is saying in the economic and financial universe any more.  The situation Obama lived in when he created his give-away plan has changed: and what Mister Obama once promised to a people living in a prosperous nation has changed…. Ask any small business owner like my wife or any unemployed workers starting with the American union workers of the automotive work-force.

Foreign Policy
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“On the campaign trail, foreign policy appears to have all but disappeared as an issue in this race,” wrote Jonathan Marcus of the BBC this week.

Did anyone hear any of these topics discussed in depth during the final presidential debate?  I refer to China, Russia, Georgia, Pakistan, Darfur, Afghanistan, Venezuela, India, Georgia, Ossetia and on and on. 

The economic meltdown has just about pushed foreign policy out of the presidential campaign discussion.  And this is a grave mistake we as a nation may pay for in the future.

The President of the United States does not have any control lever to the economy under his desk, as far as we know, but he does have great singular influence and say over foreign policy.

Mr. McCain’s support for the “surge” in Iraq turned into a major success.  But instead of claiming credit for this foreign policy and military success, Mr. McCain seems to have become a victim of his own success.  Mister Foreign Policy experience has fallen into an Obama trap: lets talk solely about our domestic economy. 

All I remember about Senator Obama’s foreign policy platform are some ill advised remarks like that he would meet with President Ahmadinejad of Iran without preconditions.  Mr. Ahmadinejad, last I checked, is making a nuclear bomb and is on the record for saying he wanted to “wipe Israel from the map.”

But, because the economic mess is on everyone’s mind and Mr. Obama is promising to make us all rich, I suppose we don’t need to care about such people as Hugo Chavez, Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, President Ahmadinejad and other interesting folks on the world stage….But you decide….

See:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad Continues to Gloat About End of Godless America, Capitalism
and
Pakistan’s Zardari Asks China for Aid
and
How Foreign Policy Fell Off The U.S. Election Radar

Campaign Financing
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Here again we think Mr. McCain fell victim to what Muhammad Ali called the “rope a dope” tactics of a thoughtful, though often underhanded, campaign team.

McCain loves campaign finance reform partly because he wrote the McCain Feingold Campaign Reform Bill with his liberal Democrat friend Senator Feingold.  Obama once said he’d stick with the restrictions of McCain-Feingold  since Mr. McCain promised to stand with the restrictions but then Mr. Obama, at the last minute,  changed his mind — at the deadline and after Mr. McCain vowed to stick by the restrictions.

Now, we as a nation, are witnessing an almost limitless pile of cash owned by Mr. Obama attacking a pauper in the advertising realm: Mr. McCain.  This is great if you love Obama but it is not good for truth, honesty and America in our view.  All this money pollutes the environment with a one-sided advertising campaign which was already jeapordized by a biased, liberal media…..

But …you decide.

Vice Presidential Nominees

Was Sarah Palin really the best choice for a John McCain running mate?  Probably not.  She is a woman with executive experience.  But she is no Mitt Romney, who also has a wealth of executive experience and as a business executive, understands how to “create” wealth.

And Joe Biden?  Apparently he was chosen by Mr. Obama for his foreign policy experience.  But in the Senate he is known as a gaffe prone, long-winded buffoon.

See:
Joe Biden, Because He Has No Integrity, Demeans Himself By Attacking Joe the Plumber

Energy
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What I recall most is this: Obama is for wind.  McCain is for nuclear.

It is more complex than that but not a lot.  McCain wants to drill more and his campaign events along with those of Governor palin frequently feature the chant, “Drill, Baby, Drill.”  Obama warmed up to the idea of additional drilling only late in the game.

Mr. McCain mentioned at the last presidential debate that we need more nuclear power plants in the United States.  He said the U.S. Navy has been the master of nuclear power for more than 50 years.

The United States is lagging far behind many nations, including Britain and France, in clean nuclear electricity generation.  Russia is assisting Iran with a nuclear plant.  Just today, China announced that it will assist Pakistan with the construction of two nuclear sites.  The U.S. even recently made an agreement to assist India with nuclear power.  Yet our own domestic nuclear industry is not building new nuclear plants with any regularity or verve.

I can’t recall Mr. Obama ever saying “nuclear.”

I think Mr. McCain is on the right track on energy — but I appreciate Mr. Obama’s commitment to clean power too.

TaskForce One.jpg
Above: This photo, taken 1964, shows three of the U.S. Navy’s early nuclear powered surface combatants.  Today, all U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and submarines are nuclear powered.

Character

I feel like I know John McCain’s character, but I live with an immigrant wife who suffered similar torture and hardship.  McCain survived a very difficult time of prison and torture with distinction.  He’s been tested.  I like people who have been tested.

I do not know that Barack Obama has been tested.  He is a great talker but not a great “doer.”  A man of spoken great convictions, to me Barack Obama’s life is a mixture of avoidance, association with the wrong people and the avoidance of taking stands.  Barack Obama reminds me of the “Artful Dodger” from the in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

New York Times writer Jodi Kantor researched the Obama record at the University of Chicago Law School.  On July 30, 2008, Jodi’s story appeared with the following included:

“I don’t think anything that went on in these chambers affected him,” said Richard Epstein, a libertarian colleague who says he longed for Mr. Obama to venture beyond his ideological and topical comfort zones. “His entire life, as best I can tell, is one in which he’s always been a thoughtful listener and questioner, but he’s never stepped up to the plate and taken full swings.”

I prefer, especially in the White House, men that take full swings.

In short and in closing, we consider this a very troubling election campaign that Senator Obama, for good or bad, will likely win.  And it seems as if the Senate and the House of Representatives will see an increased number of Democratic legislators.  A predominantly Democratic House, Senate and a White House occupied by a Democrat at the same time is not good for Americans in our view, but we trust the American voter…..

Amnesty lays into China on rights before Olympics

April 2, 2008
By John Ruwitch Wed Apr 2, 3:06 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Olympics have so far failed to catalyze reform in China and pledges to improve human rights before the Games look disingenuous after a string of violations in Beijing and a crackdown in Tibet, Amnesty International said.
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC), foreign leaders and overseas companies engaging with China could appear complicit if they failed to speak out about the rights violations, the London-based watchdog said on Wednesday as the volume of criticism of China grows around the world.

Beijing signed up for the Games hoping they would showcase the country’s progress and national unity, but the Olympics year so far has seen pressure mount, chiefly over China’s policy towards Sudan and Myanmar and its human rights record, most recently in Tibet.

In and around Beijing, Chinese authorities have silenced and imprisoned human rights activists in a pre-Olympics “clean up,” Amnesty said.

Amnesty, which introduced a bandana-wearing monkey mascot to head its “Uncensor China” campaign, also said the crackdown on a rash of demonstrations in and around Tibet in recent weeks had led to “serious human rights violations.”

“These actions cast doubt on whether the Chinese authorities are really serious about their commitment to improve human rights in the run up to the Olympics,” Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said in a statement.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080402/wl_nm/
olympics_rights_amnesty_dc_2

China’s True Face

March 19, 2008

 The Host of the Olympics or the Thug of Tibet?

By Wei Jingsheng
The Washington Post
Wednesday, March 19, 2008; Page A15 
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As what the Dalai Lama has called “cultural genocide” goes on in Tibet, it is wholly unacceptable that Jacques Rogge, the head of the International Olympic Committee, refuses to take a stand against the Beijing government’s current crackdown on Tibetan protesters. In fact, this is completely at odds with the “spirit of the Olympics.”

Chinese riot police march through the city of Kangding, located ...
Chinese riot police march through the city of Kangding, located around 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Chengdu in Sichuan Province March 17, 2008. Chinese officials declared a “people’s war” of security and propaganda against support for the Dalai Lama in Tibet after the worst unrest in the region for two decades racked the regional capital Lhasa over the past few days, killing at least 10 people. The convulsion of Tibetan anger at the Chinese presence in the region came after days of peaceful protests by monks and was a sharp blow to Beijing’s preparations for the Olympic Games in August, when China wants to showcase prosperity and unity.
REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA) 
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Far more than Steven Spielberg, who quit his advisory role for the Summer Games because of China‘s unwillingness to pressure the Sudanese government on genocide in Darfur, the IOC has a special obligation to act. Since promised improvements in China’s human rights were a quid pro quo for awarding the Games to Beijing, how can it proceed as if nothing happened when blood is flowing in the streets of Lhasa?
 Steven Spielberg 
Above: Steven Spielberg, seen in 2006, cut his ties with the Beijing Olympics. The director, while working for China, came to believe that China is not doing enough to help end the conflict in Darfur. (Associated Press photo).And if the Dalai Lama resigns from all his public positions in response to the violence, as he said yesterday that he might, the prospect of resolving the Tibet issue peacefully will be even more hopeless. We will feel very sorry if that comes about — for Tibet and for China.

If the IOC doesn’t move to put pressure on Beijing consistent with its obligations, it risks this Olympics being remembered like the 1936 Games in Berlin. Already, the spirit of the Olympics in Beijing has become associated with the word “genocide,” thanks to Spielberg and the Dalai Lama. Indeed, if the IOC and the rest of the world do not pressure Beijing to stop the crackdown and improve human rights now, a boycott of the Games will widely be seen as justified.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/18/AR2008031802596.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Peace and Freedom wishes to thank  Wei Jingsheng  who we consider a special friend.

The writer, a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, lives in exile in Washington. He was first arrested in China in 1979 for his activities with the “Democracy Wall” movement and was released in 1993 nine days before the International Olympic Committee voted on Beijing’s bid for the 2000 Games. He was arrested in March 1994 for “plotting against the state” and released in 1997.

China on balancing beam ahead of Olympics

March 16, 2008
by Dan Martin

BEIJING (AFP) – The Beijing Olympics were supposed to mark China‘s debut as a modern nation that commands respect, even admiration, but instead of that dream, the country’s leaders face a PR nightmare.

In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities ...
In this image made from video and provided by APTN, authorities walk down an avenue, Friday, March 14, 2008, in Gansu Province, Xiahe, China. Police fired tear gas to disperse Buddhist monks and others staging a second day of protests Saturday in western China in sympathy with anti-Chinese demonstrations in Lhasa, local residents said.(AP Photo/APTN)

A crackdown on unrest in Tibet has added to mounting pressure on China over human rights and other issues that threaten to tarnish the coming-out party, pushing its Communist leaders into an uncomfortable corner, analysts said.

“This is the worst thing that could have happened for China,” China scholar Jean Philippe Beja said of deadly unrest in the Tibetan capital Lhasa that has forced an army lock down of the city.

“The Chinese and Tibetan leaders are facing a no-win situation,” said Beja, of the Centre for International Research in Paris.

With five months to go before the world’s athletes begin competing here, China’s communist government finds itself teetering on a political balance beam, observers and dissidents said.

Aside from Tibet, China is under fire for its tough rule in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region, for restricting press and religious freedoms, and its support of Sudan, which is blamed for the massive bloodshed in Darfur.

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080316/sp_wl_afp/
chinaunresttibetrightschnolypolitics_080316030233

China supplies most small arms to Sudan, Darfur

March 13, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) — China’s sales of small arms to Sudan increased as the violence escalated in Darfur, Human Rights First charged Thursday in a report pressing China to halt arms sales as Beijing prepares to hold its first Olympics this year.

The report says China stepped up its arms supply to Sudan as others cut back to comply with a U.N. arms embargo, making China by far the biggest supplier of small arms to Khartoum — providing 90% of all Khartoum’s acquisitions between 2004 and 2006, totaling $55 million. Small arms such as assault rifles are the most common weapon used in Darfur.

The report says that, as the arms supply increased, so did Sudan’s sales of oil vital to China’s burgeoning economy, a commodity the report says explains China’s interest in supporting the government of Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir.

Human Rights First, which is headquartered….

Read the rest:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-03-13-china-sudan_N.htm?csp=34
Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, seen here in January ... 
Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, have donated half a million dollars to the World Food Programme in Darfur, following warnings that cash shortages could ground its humanitarian flights, the UN agency said Thursday.(AFP/Tim Clary)

CIA Director: China “Strangling” Smaller Entities

March 13, 2008

By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
March 13, 2008

China is “strangling” emerging island democracies in the Pacific in pursuit of narrow goals such as friendly votes at the United Nations, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in an interview in which he criticized Beijing’s failure to act as a responsible global power.

CIA Director Hayden

Mr. Hayden also criticized China’s pursuit of Sudanese oil supplies, even at the cost of backing a government that the United States accuses of participating in genocidal activities in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080313/
NATION/330455152/1001

China Steps Up Its Argument Over Darfur

March 8, 2008

By Edward Cody 

Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 8, 2008; Page A11

BEIJING, March 7 — Liu Guijin, China’s special envoy for Sudan, was fielding yet another question Friday on Darfur and the Olympics. Politics have no place in the Olympics, he told reporters, and it violates the Olympic spirit to claim that China has a duty to do more in the embattled western Sudanese region because Beijing is hosting the 2008 Games.
China's special envoy to Darfur Liu Giujin (front) speaks ... 
China’s special envoy to Darfur Liu Giujin (front) speaks during a joint press conference with Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor (back) following a meeting in Khartoum on February 24. Giujin on Wednesday urged the international community to step up peace efforts in the war-torn region and advised its ally Sudan to do more to cooperate with world powers.(AFP/File/Isam al-Haj)

But this time, Liu had a new argument in his briefcase: President Bush agrees with China on this point. So does British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, he said, not to mention French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Those world leaders have announced their willingness to attend a gala opening ceremony Aug. 8, he noted. If people of that caliber think Darfur is no reason to take the joy out of the Beijing Olympics, he suggested, then the human rights activists and Darfur campaigners must be out of line.

“More and more spokesmen and public figures have decided that politicization of the Olympic Games is not compatible with the Olympic spirit and that the Darfur question has no connection to the Olympic Games,” he said.

Liu’s comments, at a Foreign Ministry briefing, marked the latest salvo in a belated but increasingly active public diplomacy campaign by the Chinese government. In news conferences, statements and widely publicized actions, it has begun to duel openly with U.S. and European activists who assert that hosting the Games bestows on China a responsibility to improve its human rights record and work more forcefully to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

“Their attitude will go nowhere,” Liu said.

Citing the decisions by Bush and other Western leaders also demonstrated how much comfort the Communist Party has taken in their willingness to overlook China’s problems and join in a celebration that will focus on the remarkable progress here over the past three decades.
A Chinese worker cleans the Beijing Olympic countdown digital ... 
A Chinese worker cleans the Beijing Olympic countdown digital clock on display outside the national museum near the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, Thursday, March 6, 2008. Finishing touches on the centerpiece venue of the Beijing Olympics are taking longer than expected, delaying completion by a month, a state-run newspaper reported Thursday. Preparations for the opening and closing ceremonies of the games have interrupted work at the ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium, and it will not be completed until the end of April, the China Daily said, citing Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice president of the Beijing Olympics organizing committee.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

For the party, such international recognition that China is doing well under its stewardship is the main benefit of hosting the Olympics, according to Kang Xiaoguang, a sociologist and researcher at Tsinghua University. In that sense, the party itself has found political meaning in the Games. But it has moved to rebut those who seek to inject other political agendas less to its liking, including human rights and Darfur.

Read the rest:
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030703032.html?hpid=topnews

China urges Sudan to seek compromise in Darfur

March 7, 2008
By Chris Buckley

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has urged Sudan to do more to stop fighting in Darfur and speed the arrival of more peacekeepers, Beijing‘s envoy on the crisis said, defending his country as a diplomatic bridge to help end the bloodshed.

China has faced widespread Western criticism that it has not used its oil, arms and business stakes in Sudan to press for an end to deadly havoc in the vast, arid Darfur region.

An African Union-U.N. soldier stands in front of an old African ...
An African Union-U.N. soldier stands in front of an old African Union APC during a patrol in West Darfur in El-Geneina February 19, 2008. China has urged Sudan to do more to stop fighting in Darfur and speed the arrival of more peacekeepers, Beijing’s envoy on the crisis said, defending his country as a diplomatic bridge to help end the bloodshed.
(Opheera McDoom/Reuters)
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Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080307/ts_nm/
china_sudan_darfur_dc_2