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April 10, 2007

World News

Darfur Collides With Olympics, and China Yields





For the past two years, China has protected the Sudanese government as the United States and Britain have pushed for United Nations Security Council sanctions against Sudan for the violence in Darfur.




After being warned by the state to either tone-down its controversial content or face funding cuts, the Ann Arbor Film Festival said no thank you to the government and decided to decline funding from the state entirely.

But in the past week, strange things have happened. A senior Chinese official, Zhai Jun, traveled to Sudan to push the Sudanese government to accept a United Nations peacekeeping force. Mr. Zhai even went all the way to Darfur and toured three refugee camps, a rare event for a high-ranking official from China, which has extensive business and oil ties to Sudan and generally avoids telling other countries how to conduct their internal affairs.

So what gives? Credit goes to Hollywood — Mia Farrow and Steven Spielberg in particular. Just when it seemed safe to buy a plane ticket to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games, nongovernmental organizations and other groups appear to have scored a surprising success in an effort to link the Olympics, which the Chinese government holds very dear, to the killings in Darfur, which, until recently, Beijing had not seemed too concerned about.



Posted by mneha at April 10, 2007 09:48 PM

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