The Chinese government can be very persuasive when it wants to be. China persuaded the International Olympic Committee to award Beijing the 2008 Olympic Games — marking the first time in more than 20 years that the Games will be held under an authoritarian government.
Now, China is attempting to persuade world leaders, the media and the public that Beijing has suddenly become a leader for peace in regard to Darfur. But there are many signs that China’s recent efforts have been little more than a public relations campaign to spare the Olympic host from continued negative publicity about its complicity in the Darfur genocide.
For four long years, China was a major, if not the chief obstacle to international efforts to bring security to Darfur. Beijing blocked, vetoed or diluted resolutions at the U.N. Security Council that would have authorized a protection operation or sanctions on Khartoum for continued intransigence. [Full Text]
Jill Savitt is director of the Olympic Dream for Darfur campaign.