China to Send Military Unit to Darfur – Edward Cody

As a new report from Amnesty International criticizes China for supplying arms to Sudan, the Washington Post reports that China is making plans to send a military engineering unit to assist the African Union peace-keeping troops in the war-torn region of Darfur, Sudan:

The decision to help bolster the 7,000 African Union peacekeepers was seen mainly as a gesture to underline Chinese support for a U.N.-administered solution to the four-year-old conflict in western Sudan’s Darfur region. Since an armed secessionist revolt began there in 2003, an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and nearly 2.5 million have been driven from their homes.

In recent weeks, the Darfur crisis has become particularly sensitive in China because of suggestions in the United States and Europe that people should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics to demonstrate opposition to Chinese policies in Sudan. China, which has deep economic and military ties there, has been widely criticized for failing to bring strong pressure on the government to persuade it to accept a large force of U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur. [Full text]

Read also a Boston Globe editorial, “Chinese Shadows,” which calls China an “enabler of evil” in Darfur and elsewhere:

ALTHOUTH THERE never was an axis of evil, there are murderous dictatorships in the world today that have one thing in common: support from the People’s Republic of China. In Sudan, Burma, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe, China has become an enabler of evil. [Full text]

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