China defends policy on Sudan

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The Independent Online

Ambassador Liu Guijin, the Chinese government's special representative on Darfur, has defended China's policy on Sudan in a speech to Chatham House, the respected international affairs body in London.

"The Chinese government and people are deeply concerned about the Darfur issue and wholly sympathetic towards the suffering of local people," he said. "We believe the Darfur issue is complicated because it involves problems left over from history, natural conditions, distribution of resources and tribal relations."

He listed four priorities for action: dialogue and consultation on an equal footing should continue; tripartite action by the UN, African Union (AU) and the Sudanese government; vigorous efforts to advance the political process through international support for mediation by the UN and the AU; and help for reconstruction and redevelopment.

He told the BBC: "We made it clear we are against sanctions, embargoes or pressures on Sudan because we do not think they can solve the problems."

It followed a meeting between the envoy and Lord Malloch-Brown, Britain's Foreign minister for Africa. The Foreign Office confirmed it discussed Britain's support for an extension of UN sanctions.

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