The Sudanese government has agreed to allow a joint U.N. – African Union peacekeeping force into the war torn region of Darfur, and the Chinese government is taking the credit for this development. According to Reuters, Beijing’s envoy on Darfur, Liu Guijin, told reporters, “I can say with certainty that this was inseparable from the work the Chinese government did on Sudan about the Darfur issue.” Activists linking the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Darfur have helped shine a spotlight on China’s role in the region. Meanwhile, in Foreign Policy Magazine, Morton Abramowitz and Jonathan Kolieb argue that by targeting China to resolve the Darfur crisis, activists (who now include NBA players) are helping give a pass to the Bush administration and other Western governments that have not done enough to help.
For more about China’s role in Sudan, read a series of reports in the Christian Science Monitor and an AP story about China’s pledge to help prevent weapons it sells to Sudan from being used in Darfur. For more on attempts by activists to link Darfur and other human rights issues to the Beijing Olympics, see a lengthy report from AP, via the Washington Post. (See a Chinese government denunciation of such efforts here.)