January 30, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — A senior Chinese diplomat today warned Sudan that "the world is running out of patience over what’s going in Darfur".
The Special envoy of Chinese government Zhai Jun met with Sudan’s foreign minister Deng Alor on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Abbaba.
Alor said that the Chinese envoy reaffirmed his government’s support to his country but called on Sudan "not to do things that will cause the international community to impose sanctions on them".
UN officials have accused Sudan of obstructing the deployment of peacekeeping force in Darfur pursuant to resolution 1769.
China has generally avoided appearing to pressure Sudan directly over the Darfur crisis to be in line with its long standing policy of not interfering in internal affairs of other countries.
Beijing, a veto wielding member in the UN Security Council, has protected Sudan from international condemnation and sanctions causing furstration among Western powers and human rights group worldwide.
Last week Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China could "definitely not accept" rights groups that say China’s support for Sudan’s government is prolonging the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
The remarks were in response to calls by this groups to label the Beijing summer olympics as ’genocide olympics’.
"To link the Darfur issue to the Olympics is a move to politicize the Olympics and this is inconsistent with the Olympics spirit and will bear no fruit," Jiang told reporters at a news conference.
Energy-hungry China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil output and has refineries, a pipeline and joint exploration projects in the east African country.
*CORRECTION: The special envoy of the Chinese government & Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun and not Liu Guijin as mentioned in previous version