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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Darfur’ Category

U.S. Olympic TV Broadcaster NBC Urged To Examine China’s Human Rights Record

Posted by Author on August 8, 2008

By BENJAMIN SARLIN, Staff Reporter, The New York Sun,  U.S. August 7, 2008-

Elected officials and activists are challenging NBC to take a critical look at China’s human rights record as the TV network broadcasts the Olympic Games from Beijing this month.

The major American television networks have not give adequate coverage to China’s role in the ongoing violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, Council Member Eric Gioia said yesterday, noting that China sells weapons to the Sudanese government and is the country’s largest purchaser of oil.

“NBC does not stand alone in not publicizing the crisis in Darfur, but NBC does have a unique opportunity to highlight China’s role,” Mr. Gioia, a likely candidate for public advocate, said at a press conference at the United Nations. “That is why during the Olympic coverage this should be something they are talking about.”

The International Criminal Court moved recently to indict President al-Bashir of Sudan on war crimes charges.

Last month, protesters disrupted a taping of NBC’s “Today” show to protest the network’s handling of China and Darfur. Asked on Monday about the network’s planned coverage during the Olympics, the show’s producer, Jim Bell, told the Los Angeles Times that NBC is planning to “deal with the issues as they come” during the games and address questions being raised about the country’s human rights record.

City officials have publicly condemned China’s human rights record on several issues ahead of the Beijing Games. Mr. Gioia wrote a resolution last year in the City Council calling on corporate sponsors of the Olympics, such as NBC, to drop their support for the games. Council Member Simcha Felder in March called for a boycott of the games over Sudan, and Council Member Tony Avella introduced a separate resolution earlier this year calling on the International Olympic Committee to move the games from Beijing in response to China’s treatment of Tibet.

As the Olympics approach, China also has drawn criticism for restricting Western reporters’ access to the Internet and for revoking a visa yesterday for a former Olympic speed skater who planned to attend the games, Joey Cheek. Mr. Cheek co-founded Team Darfur, a group of athletes that have called attention to China’s links to Sudan. Another member of the group, former Olympic swimmer Kendra Zanotto, has also been barred from attending the games.

The White House press secretary, Dana Perino, told reporters yesterday that the Bush administration was “disturbed” by Mr. Cheek’s treatment. President Bush reportedly is set to deliver a speech today in Thailand rebuking China for its policies on religious freedom and human rights.

– The New York Sun: NBC Urged To Examine China’s Record

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Human Rights, Media, News, Politics, Social, Speech, Sports, TV / film, USA, World | 1 Comment »

China Refused Entry of U.S. Olympic Gold Medallist Joey Cheek

Posted by Author on August 7, 2008

Owen Slot in Beijing, Times Online, UK, August 6, 2008-

Joey Cheek, an American Olympic gold medallist who has been leading a campaign to stop China from trading arms with the Sudan, has been refused entry to the Beijing Games.

Cheek, who won gold in the men’s 500 metre speed skating event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, has recruited nearly 400 Olympians and former Olympians worldwide to his cause, called Team Darfur, and was refused a visa at the Chinese embassy in Washington yesterday.

“Despite the fact that I’ve always spoken positively of the Olympic ideal, and never called for a boycott or asked an athlete to break an IOC rule, my visa was revoked less than 24 hours before my scheduled departure,” Cheek said. “The denial of my visa is a part of a systemic effort by the Chinese government to coerce and threaten athletes who are speaking out on behalf of the innocent people of Darfur.”

Cheek’s organisation knows it has been pushing the human rights situation in Darfur hard into the public eye. Concern that their stance may count against them is reflected in the fact that, of the 72 Team Darfur athletes who will be competing here in Beijing, 17 have declined to be named publicly.

A statement received Wednesday morning by fax from the spokesman’s office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said: “Visa is a sovereign affair of one country, according to Chinese laws and regulations, and based on other host countries’ practice on previous Olympics and other large scale events, China has made appropriate arrangements for foreign entry visas during the Olympic Games . . .”

Team Darfur was started following the Turin Olympics where Cheek won an Olympic gold and spoke out afterwards about how he was intending to give his $40,000 medal bonus to Darfur charities.

According to international experts, some 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million been driven from their homes since rebels took up arms against the government five years ago. China is a major investor in Sudan’s oil industry and is its largest weapons supplier.

– Original: Joey Cheek, gold medallist and Sudan protester, refused entry to China

Posted in Athlete, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Sports, USA, World | 3 Comments »

First evidence: China Militarily Helps Sudan’s Government in Darfur- BBC News

Posted by Author on July 14, 2008

By Hilary Andersson, BBC News, Darfur-

The BBC has found the first evidence that China is currently helping Sudan’s government militarily in Darfur.

The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005.

The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.

China’s government has declined to comment on the BBC’s findings, which contravene a UN arms embargo on Darfur.

The embargo requires foreign nations to take measures to ensure they do not militarily assist anyone in the conflict in Darfur, in which the UN estimates that about 300,000 people have died.

More than two million people are also believed to have fled their villages in Darfur, destroyed by pro-government Arab Janjaweed militia.

Panorama traced the first lorry by travelling deep into the remote deserts of West Darfur.

They found a Chinese Dong Feng army lorry in the hands of one of Darfur’s rebel groups.

The BBC established through independent eyewitness testimony that the rebels had captured it from Sudanese government forces in December.

The rebels filmed a second lorry with the BBC’s camera. Both vehicles had been carrying anti-aircraft guns, one a Chinese gun.

Markings showed that they were from a batch of 212 Dong Feng army lorries that the UN had traced as having arrived in Sudan after the arms embargo was put in place.

The lorries came straight from the factory in China to Sudan and were consigned to Sudan’s defence ministry. The guns were mounted after the lorries were imported from China.

The UN started looking for these lorries in Darfur three years ago, suspecting they had been sent there, but never found them.

“We had no specific access to Sudanese government army stores, we were not allowed to take down factory codes or model numbers or registrations etc to verify these kinds of things,” said EJ Hogendoorn, a member of the UN panel of experts that was involved in trying to locate the lorries.


China has chosen not to respond to the BBC’s findings. Its public position is that it abides by all UN arms embargoes.

China has said in the past that it told Sudan’s government not to use Chinese military equipment in Darfur.

Sudan’s government, however, has told the UN that it will send military equipment wherever it likes within its sovereign territory.

An international lawyer, Clare da Silva, says China’s point that it has taken measures in line with the arms embargo’s requirements to stop its weapons from going to Darfur is meaningless.

“It is an empty measure to take the assurances from a partner who clearly has no intention of abiding by the resolution,” she said.

Ms da Silva said the BBC’s evidence put China in violation of the arms embargo.

The UN panel of experts on Darfur has said it wants to examine the BBC’s evidence.

Homes scorched

The BBC found witnesses who said they saw the first Dong Feng which the BBC tracked down being used with its anti-aircraft gun in an attack in a town called Sirba, in West Darfur, in December.

“When it is shooting or firing there is nowhere for you to move and the sound is just like the sound of the rain. Then ‘Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!'” said Hamaad Abakar Adballa, a witness in the Chadian refugee town of Birak.

The lorry’s powerful anti-aircraft gun fired straight into civilian houses. The gun carries high calibre shells that explode on impact, spreading hot shards of metal and causing terrible wounds

Witnesses saw one hut take a direct hit from the gun:

“An intense wave of heat instantly sent all the huts around up in flames,” one witness, Risique Bahar, said. “There was a lot of screaming.”

In the attack on Sirba one woman was burnt to death, another horribly injured.

Genocide accusation

Sudan’s government has been accused by the United States of genocide against Darfur’s black Africans.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) say war crimes by Sudan’s Arab-dominated government have included summary executions, rape and torture……. (more details from BBC News: China ‘is fuelling war in Darfur’)

BBC Video: China ‘fuelling war in Darfur’

Posted in Africa, China, Darfur, Law, military, News, People, Politics, Social, Trade, World | Comments Off on First evidence: China Militarily Helps Sudan’s Government in Darfur- BBC News

The Only Winner In Beijing Olympics Will Be Tyranny

Posted by Author on February 18, 2008

Nick Cohen, The Observer,UK, Sunday February 17 2008-

At the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, spectators will watch as athletes from the worst regimes on the planet parade by. Whether they are from dictatorships of the left or right, secular or theocratic, they will have one thing in common: the hosts of the games that, according to the mission statement, are striving ‘for a bright future for mankind’ will support their oppressors.

The flag of Sudan will flutter. China supplied the weapons that massacred so many in Darfur. As further sweeteners, it added interest-free loans for a new presidential palace and vetoes of mild condemnations of genocide from the United Nations. In return, China got most of Sudan’s oil.

The Burmese athletes will wave to the crowd and look as if they are representing an independent country. In truth, Burma is little more than a Chinese satellite. In return for the weapons to suppress democrats and vetoes at the UN Security Council, the junta sells it gas at discounted rates far below what its wretched citizens have to pay.

There will be no Tibetan contingent, of course. Chinese immigrants are obliterating the identity of the occupied country, which will soon be nothing more than a memory. Athletes from half-starved Zimbabwe, whose senile despot props himself up with the Zimmer frame of Chinese aid, will be there, however. As will teams from the Iranian mullahocracy, grateful recipients of Chinese missiles and the prison state of North Korea, for whom China is the sole reliable ally.

With Steven Spielberg citing China’s complicity in the Sudan atrocities as his reason for withdrawing as the Olympics’ artistic adviser, comparisons with the 20th century will soon be flowing. Will Beijing be like the 1936 Berlin Olympics Hitler used to celebrate Nazism? Or the 1980 Moscow games the Americans boycotted in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? I suspect the past won’t be a guide because the ideological struggles of the 20th century are over. China’s communists are communists in name only. They are not helping dictators because they are comrades who share their ideology. They have no ideology beyond national self-interest and a well-warranted desire to stop the outsiders insisting on standards in Africa or Asia they do not intend to abide by.

Human Rights Watch points out that if, say, Sudan were to turn into a peaceful state with a constitutional government, the Chinese would not care as long as the oil still flowed. China’s post-communists are like mafiosi. It is not personal, just business. They are happy to do deals with anyone, as Henry Kissinger recognised when he set himself up to be PR man for so many of the corporations that went on to benefit from the Communist party’s repression of free trade unions.

Campaign groups and governments that want to promote the spread of democracy have been far slower to understand that the emerging power of the 21st century will be every tyrant’s first customer and banker of last resort and adjust their tactics accordingly.

Their failure may be because it is far from clear what fresh tactics are on offer. Take the supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi campaigning for a democratic Burma. Their demonstrations outside Chinese embassies have had no effect. They persuaded Gordon Brown to raise Burma in meetings with the Chinese leadership, but again the Prime Minister was unlikely to have made an impression. Their other successes look equally fragile. The European Union has imposed sanctions, but Western energy companies ask with justice why they should be told not to compete for gas contracts the Chinese will snap up.

More seriously, they are running into a problem familiar to anyone who campaigned against 20th-century dictatorships: where to find allies. If you are protesting about an aspect of American policy – Guantánamo Bay or attitudes to global warming – this isn’t an issue. You can ally with and be informed by American activists, journalists, lawyers and opposition politicians. The resources of the civic society of a free country are at your disposal and you can use them to shift American opinion. A subject of the Chinese Communist party who helps foreign critics put pressure on Beijing risks imprisonment, and none but the bravest do.

David Miliband showed he understood the dilemmas of the new century when he gave a lecture in honour of Suu Kyi in Oxford last week. He described how the great wave of democratisation, which began with the fall of Franco’s dictatorship in the Seventies, moved through South America, the Soviet empire, South Africa and the tyrannies of East Asia, was petering out.

The Foreign Secretary was undiplomatic enough to continue that the economic success of China had proved that history was not over and he was right. Its combination of communist suppression with market economics is being seen as a viable alternative to liberal freedoms, notably by Putin and his cronies, but also by anti-democratic forces across Asia.

The only justification for the Beijing games is that they will allow connoisseurs of the grotesque to inspect this ghoulish hybrid of the worst of capitalism and the worst of socialism close up. The march of China’s bloodstained allies round the stadium will merely be the beginning. The International Olympic Committee and all the national sports bureaucracies will follow up by instructing athletes not to say a word out of place.

The free-market CEOs of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, General Electric and all the other sponsors who have made money out of China will join the communists in insisting that outsiders have no right to criticise. Any Chinese dissident who hasn’t been picked up before the world’s journalists arrive will face terrifying punishments if he speaks to them.

I know sportsmen and women are exasperated by demands to boycott events they have dreamed of winning for years. Why should they suffer when no business or government is prepared to turn its back on the vast Chinese market? For all that, they still should not go. The hypocrisy of the 2008 Olympics will make all but the most hard-hearted athletes retch. They will not look back on it not as a high point of their careers, but a nadir.

– Original report from The Observer: The only winner in Beijing will be tyranny

Posted in Africa, Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Human Rights, News, Opinion, Politics, Report, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on The Only Winner In Beijing Olympics Will Be Tyranny

Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg Boycotts China 2008 Olympics

Posted by Author on February 13, 2008

By Bob Tourtellotte and Paul Eckert, Reuters, Tue Feb 12, 2008-

LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg withdrew on Tuesday as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing over China’s policy on the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.

“I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual,” Spielberg said in a statement issued on a day when Nobel Peace laureates sent a letter to China’s president urging a change in policies toward its ally Sudan.

“At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur,” he added.

China is a leading oil customer and supplier of weapons to Sudan and is accused by critics of providing diplomatic cover for Khartoum as it stonewalls international efforts to send peacekeepers into Darfur.

In April, Spielberg wrote a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao adding his voice to the chorus of people who have protested China’s involvement with the Sudanese government over the crisis in Darfur. At that time, Spielberg had asked to meet with Hu, but the president failed to respond.

In his statement on Tuesday, Spielberg said Sudan’s government shouldered the bulk of responsibility for “these ongoing crimes” in Darfur but said China “should be doing more to end the continuing human suffering there.”

Earlier on Tuesday, nine Nobel Peace Prize laureates — including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Jody Williams — sent a letter to Hu urging China to uphold Olympic ideals by pressing Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur……. (more details from Reuters: Steven Spielberg quits as adviser to Olympics over Darfur)

Posted in Africa, Artists, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Oscar-winning Director Steven Spielberg Boycotts China 2008 Olympics

Group of Nobel Laureates Press China Over Darfur

Posted by Author on February 12, 2008

By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent, Reuters, Tue Feb 12, 2008-

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates sent a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday urging the Beijing Games host to uphold Olympic ideals by pressing its ally Sudan to stop atrocities in Darfur.

“As the primary economic, military and political partner of the Government of Sudan, and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China has both the opportunity and the responsibility to contribute to a just peace in Darfur,” said the letter.

“Ongoing failure to rise to this responsibility amounts, in our view, to support for a government that continues to carry out atrocities against its own people,” said the letter, released on a day of events by the Save Darfur Coalition.

The letter was signed by Nobel Peace laureates Bishop Carlos Belo, Shirin Ebadi, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Betty Williams and Jody Williams. Other signatories included politicians, Olympic medallists and entertainers.

U.S. actress Mia Farrow, who has spearheaded the coalition’s global campaign to press China to change its policies in Sudan, gathered a crowd outside the Chinese mission to the United Nations in New York as she tried to deliver the letter.

“China hopes that these games will be its post-Tiananmen Square coming out party. But how can Beijing host the Olympic Games at home and underwrite genocide in Darfur?” she said, and stuffed the letter under the mission door after her knocks went unanswered.

In more than four years of conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes, according to estimates from international experts. Khartoum says 9,000 people have died.


The letter to Hu acknowledged Chinese support for a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the deployment of a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force to Darfur.

“However, we note with dismay that the Chinese government worked to weaken the resolution before it passed,” it said. The letter said China doubled its trade with Sudan in 2007 and continued its military relationship with the African country…….(more details from Reuters)

Posted in Africa, China, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, intellectual, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Group of Nobel Laureates Press China Over Darfur

Rights Group Criticizes Corporate Sponsors of 2008 Beijing Olympics For Staying Silent on Darfur Killing

Posted by Author on November 30, 2007

By Alex Villarreal, VOA News, U.S, 28 November 2007-

Washington- Human rights advocates say China is not doing enough to address the crisis in Sudan’s troubled region of Darfur. One group is calling on corporate sponsors of the 2008 Olympic Games to push China to do more. But as VOA’s Alex Villarreal reports from Washington, their responses have also drawn criticism.

U.S.-based advocacy group Dream for Darfur says corporate sponsors of the Olympics in Beijing have failed to do their part to pressure China to ensure peace in Darfur.

The group issued a report card Monday grading the companies’ responses to the Darfur crisis after asking them to take a stand. Sixteen out of 19 sponsors failed or got Ds, including Microsoft, Panasonic and Visa. General Electric earned the highest grade, a C-plus.

Ellen Freudenheim conducted research for the project. Speaking to reporters via teleconference, she said the majority of Olympic sponsors are condoning the violence in Darfur by staying silent.

“If there’s a genocide and you’re involved with a government that’s actively enabling that genocide, you, too, are silently complicit if you don’t at least raise the issue,” she said.

Dream for Darfur graded the companies using a range of criteria, including whether they contacted China or the International Olympic Committee, donated aid to Darfur or appointed a point person on Darfur.

Several companies, including Visa and General Electric, sent response letters to the campaign saying they found it inappropriate to take action. They said the correct platform for the Darfur issue is at a United Nations and government level.

But American actress Mia Farrow, chair of Dream for Darfur’s advisory board, said businesses are responsible, too.

“This is blood money,” she said. “You know, I think they should step up and do the right thing. And they have a unique position here with the Olympic games, a unique point of leverage. And I think unless they use it to their utmost, then they will have failed in a profound, profound way. Then shame on them.” …… (more details from VOA News: Rights Group Criticizes China for Failure to Act on Darfur)

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, Business, China, Company, Darfur, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, Politics, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Rights Group Criticizes Corporate Sponsors of 2008 Beijing Olympics For Staying Silent on Darfur Killing

China Invests In Africa Irresponsibly, says Geldof

Posted by Author on October 4, 2007

Reuters, Tue 2 Oct 2007-

HELSINKI (Reuters) – China is behaving irresponsibly in its trade relations with Africa and should better adhere to international standards, rights activist and Irish rocker Bob Geldof said on Tuesday.

The anti-poverty campaigner told a corporate aid event in Finland China’s philosophy was mercantilist — based entirely on money without regard for political stability or the welfare of African people.

“They are everywhere, they invest huge amounts of money — it’s very positive for some of the countries, but negative for others,” he said.

“There is a danger because that’s naive and it’s disingenuous. They’re now a major power and they must behave to international standards.”

China is Africa’s third-largest trading partner, exporting $16.4 billion (8 billion pounds) worth of goods and services in the first six months of 2007, up 49 percent from a year earlier, China’s Commerce Ministry said in August.

China’s direct outbound investment in Africa reached $480 million in the same period.

Geldof said China was exacerbating some of the continent’s most difficult problems, including Darfur and Zimbabwe.

“The Chinese want the oil, they don’t want anything interfering with the Khartoum government, so they give free guns to the Sudanese army,” he said, adding 6 percent of Chinese oil was coming from Sudan, which makes up 60 percent of the country’s production.

Geldof said money and resources were also the driving force behind China’s support of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, criticised by analysts for driving a once thriving economy into the ground and frightening off foreign investment.

Deepali Khanna, East and Southern Africa regional director of grassroots organisation Plan International, said China could help stabilise the situation in Africa if it wanted to, especially in Sudan.

“China could be playing a much more pivotal role — China wants whatever is convenient for them and lets the rest of the world keep fighting over Darfur,” she said.

“But the investment that’s coming from China — they could pull that out; they could be getting the equilibrium right, but they are not. They’re making the government much more arrogant in wanting to do things they have been doing so far.”

Geldof and Khanna spoke at a seminar challenging the corporate sector to get more involved in the continent.

The musician said Europe needed to give more in order for African countries to come closer to achieving the United Nations’ objectives to halve poverty and achieve universal education by 2015 under its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He said meeting those goals was impossible under the present conditions.

“Uganda will probably make the child mortality figures, some African countries will make the education figures, but if you look at immunization for all, if you look at the AIDS figures … Africa will miss all the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.

– Original report from Reuters: Geldof says China invests in Africa irresponsibly

Posted in Africa, Business, China, Darfur, Economy, Energy, Human Rights, Investment, News, Oil, Politics, Social, Trade, World | Comments Off on China Invests In Africa Irresponsibly, says Geldof

Whither The Party-state in China Abroad and At Home? Speech by David Kilgour

Posted by Author on October 2, 2007

Excerpts from an address by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D, Speakers Series, St. Mary’s University College, Calgary, (Canada), September 27, 2007-


Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.
Calgary, September 27, 2007David kilgour

We Canadians respect and like the people of China for many reasons, including their courage, success with agriculture, culture, hard work and love of education. It is no accident that more than one million Canadians of origin in the Middle Kingdom are reportedly our most highly-educated cultural community. It was an honour to represent those of them living in southeast Edmonton in our national Parliament for about 27 years.

Our differences are with the unelected government of the PRC and its international and domestic policies and not with the human values of the vast majority of Chinese nationals. Paradoxically, it is the friends of the Hu-Wen government who are the China bashers today as they fail to differentiate that government from the real China. The Chinese deserve the right to elect their governments in fair and free elections.

Roles Abroad

Canadian and other media outside China have begun to focus on Beijing’s destructive roles in a number of countries. Thanks to books such as James Mann’s The China Fantasy, key components of the longtime consensus among many Fortune 500 executives, sinologists, politicians and diplomats are being ‘mugged by reality’.

Mann concludes that the party-state in China undermines human values abroad wherever it can get a foot in a door. In the case of Zimbabwe, for example, he reminds readers that it gave Robert Mugabe a honourary degree, economic aid and helicopter gunships despite heading a most brutal regime. For Uzbekistan, when President Karimov ordered a murderous crackdown on protesters, Beijing supported him.

With Russia, during the 1991 coup attempt by military and intelligence officials against Mikhail Gorbachev, China’s government-owned media gave extensive and positive coverage to the plotters, barely mentioning Boris Yeltsin or his democratic allies, and was disappointed when the coup attempt failed.

‘Bloody Burma’

Many Canadians are watching with horror the unfolding situation in Burma. The Nobel Peace laureate and democracy advocate Aun San Suu Kyi has reportedly now been thrown by the generals into prison after spending most of eighteen years under house arrest after she and her National League for Democracy won a fair and free election. Seven unarmed persons were killed last night; more than a hundred were injured; two hundred were arrested. Buddhist temples are being ransacked and monks beaten.

Permit me to focus briefly here only on the various attempts by the government of China to oppose the most recent effort by the peoples of Burma to achieve the rule of law, democracy and national reconciliation. Its efforts to shore up the generals’ junta have included:

Using its permanent veto at the UN Security Council to keep the ongoing Burma tragedy away from the Security Council agenda for more than 15 years. When it finally reached the Council last November, the China representative worked hard to remove it quickly, while providing no help to the long-suffering peoples of Burma;

In January, it vetoed a Security Council resolution calling on the generals to cease persecuting minorities and opposition leaders;

This week, it managed to prevent the Security Council from imposing sanctions of any kind on the junta or even condemning the use of force in Rangoon, allowing the Council only to express “concern”; and

Having its diplomatic envoy in Burma say after meeting the Foreign Minister there recently that Beijing wants “a democratic process that is appropriate for the country.” The current government of China clearly opposes democracy in any country.

As another Nobel Peace Prize winner, Jody Williams, pointed out yesterday, Beijing’s longstanding support for the military junta includes modernizing their army and providing weapons valued at $1.4 billion. Its concern about what is happening in the country currently is really about how its role there might affect its Olympic Games.

In addition to the “Genocide Olympics” in respect of Darfur and the “Bloody Harvest Games” because of its treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, the world now has the “Burma Junta Olympics” to ponder in deciding if it really wants to attend those games. What else will arise between now and next August?


The government of China’s interference at the Security Council in respect of Burma is similar to its ongoing efforts there in respect of shielding another military regime in Khartoum. The modus operendi is the same: feign concern about the ongoing loss of civilian lives out of real concern about possible negative fall-out for the Olympic Games, while ensuring that as little as possible is done to block the ambitions of two bloody regimes with which the government of China does much business and has much in common.

Over the past decade, the government of China has provided Sudan’s Bashir government with more than $US 10 billion in commercial and capital investment, mostly for oil investments, with crude oil comprising virtually all of Sudan’s exports and much of it going to China. Approximately seven percent of China’s oil imports currently come from Sudan. According to one source within Sudan, up to 70 percent of the Sudanese government’s revenues from oil are spent on arms, a good deal of them from China. Nick Kristof of the New York Times has reported that the government of China has built four small arms factories in Sudan.

A key service provided to Bashir’s government is using China’s permanent veto at the UN Security Council to protect the Sudanese regime from any robust peacemaking initiatives while the slaughter in Darfur continues. Only following Mia Farrow’s op-ed piece in March, 2007, which accused the government of China of assisting in genocide, did China’s UN representative join in the Security Council initiative to send 26,000 police and soldiers to Darfur.

The specifics of UN Security Council resolution 1769 passed this summer demonstrate how well Beijing continues to protect Khartoum: The hybrid UN/African Union force will have no authority to seize weapons from belligerents, thus probably making it impossible to control the Janjaweed and other militias that have been slaughtering African Darfurians; there is no provision for sanctioning the government in Khartoum in the probable event that it refuses to comply; the watered down command-and-control provisions will inevitably create problems between the African Union commander on the ground in Darfur and the UN Department of Peacekeeping in New York… (to be cont’d)


Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.
Calgary, September 27, 2007

Oppression within China

According to Freedom House, fully half of the world’s populations living in “not free” conditions are in China. Free countries are defined by Freedom House as ones where “there is broad scope for open political competition, a climate of respect for civil liberties, significant independent civil life and independent media…Chinese citizens do not have the ability to democratically elect their leadership or to participate in any political activity outside what is prescribed by the Chinese government. Basic civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, religion and even personal autonomy are highly restricted.”

The same study notes that the government of the PRC imprisoned more journalists than any other country in the world over the past eight years. Only last year, Hu Junta’s government silenced the media with new regulations, which jailed outspoken writers and restricted coverage of breaking news. The media across China are now barred from criticizing senior party leaders or their policies, and ones who do not play along on party news content are harassed, fired or jailed. As someone noted, the only thing readers can believe in most dailies in China is the date.

The government of China spends huge sums of money and deploys tens of thousands of police to block citizen access to websites and in monitoring their emails. The foreign companies and consultants who assist them in building and maintaining this “Golden Shield” are violating many of the principles of free speech and corporate social responsibility.

The Chinese penal code currently prescribes capital punishment for 65 offences, including “undermining national unity”. The official number of executions in 2005 was 1770 persons- 81% of the known world total. It was probably much higher in number. One must, however, give credit to the government for directing in 2006 that all death penalty appeals must be heard in open court. I’ll come shortly to another kind of execution in China for Falun Gong prisoners of conscience-virtually none of which are ever convicted of any offence or go near any court.

Tibetan Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and practitioners of other religions face harassment and much worse. The religious freedom recognized in the constitution is given little heed in practice, with only party-managed spiritual groups being fully tolerated. In Tibet, for example, photos of the Dalai Lama can lead to imprisonment; only boys who sign declarations denouncing him can become monks. In Xinjiang, the predominant Muslim Uighur people have been severely persecuted on the pretext that some are terrorists.

Thousands of North Koreans have fled into China to escape food shortages, religious persecution and the terrible conditions of large forced labour camps. The government of China, however, forcibly repatriates such refugees, well-knowing that they face prison, torture and possible execution because it is a capital offence to flee the Hermit Kingdom. This violates a 1951 UN Convention and its 1967 Protocol that guarantees protection for refugees, both of which were signed by China.

Recently, I saw a photocopy of the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, done by the Canadian John Humphreys in 1946. The adopted version, also accepted by China, outlines each individual’s right to freedom of assembly, speech, thought and other rights. Until all the citizens of China enjoy these basic dignities, all thoughtful persons must continue to protest. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. said it best, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The number of public demonstrations by aggrieved Chinese citizens is growing. The public security ministry admits that that there were 87,000 “public order disturbances” in 2005, up from 74,000 in 2004 and 58,000 in 2003. Their major cause, as Freedom House notes, is the “confiscation of land without adequate compensation, often involving collusion between local government and developers…Environmental destruction as a direct result of rapid development has also been a source of mass protest.” I might add an obvious point here that China’s use of coal and other energy sources is highly inefficient: for every thousand units of energy, China produces only US$ .70 in additional GDP whereas Japan in contrast adds US$ 10.50.

Gao Zhisheng and family

There are many families who should be mentioned when individual cases arise concerning the dismal state of human dignity across China, but in view of Goa’s recent re-arrest in Beijing permit me to identify him and his wife as genuine national heroes. David Matas and I have nominated him for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize as a figure in the Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vaclev Haval and Aung San Suu Kyi tradition.

Gao’s recently-published outside China, A China More Just, is as interesting as it is courageous. His parents were so poor that they lived in a cave in rural China. After his father died, Gao had to fend for himself from the age of fifteen. After serving in the army, he studied law by correspondence and managed to pass the practice examination. From the start, he donated part of his time to helping clients fighting injustices and was later named as one of China’s best lawyers. When, however, he attempted to defend a Falun Gong practitioner, the government closed down his office and swarms of police began to harass him, his wife and two children constantly.

In August 2006, Gao was arrested and he was eventually convicted of “subversion”, bringing a three-year sentence suspended for five years and a suspension of political rights for one year ( i.e. until after the Games are over next summer). Earlier this month, he released a statement (available at under ‘Gao solemnly denies all charges’) in which he explains why he signed a confession. Perhaps even more disturbing than what the police did to him to obtain it is what they did to his wife and two young children. On Sept. 22 nd, Gao released a statement to members of the American Congress (also available on the website.)

Falun Gong

Following an independent investigation, David Matas and I concluded to our horror that since the latter part of 2000 the government of China and its agencies have murdered thousands of Falun Gong practitioners across China without any form of prior trial and then sold their vital organs for large sums of money often to ‘organ tourists’ from wealthy countries.

If any of you doubt the weight of the cumulative evidence in our report, you can access the revised version at Most who have read are convinced of the dismaying validity of our conclusion. Some in national governments of varying political colours, who are no doubt privately persuaded, unfortunately choose to say otherwise in public because to concur that such crimes against humanity are continuing in China would presumably require some different bilateral policies with the party-state in Beijing.

None of these deaths would be occurring if the Chinese people as a whole enjoyed the rule of law and their government believed in the intrinsic worth and dignity of human beings. Most lives in China have no more value to those in power than does their natural environment, work safety, consumer protection, health care for farmers, or the lives of African residents in Darfur or Burmese nationals. In my judgement, it is the toxic and lethal combination of totalitarian governance and virtually ‘anything goes’ capitalism that allows this situation to continue across the Middle Kingdom today…


Challenging the government of China over its partnership roles in Sudan, Burma and elsewhere probably offers the best hope to save civilian lives internationally. The key task is to inform widely about the government of China’s actions.

What would happen, for example, if Canadians of varying ages and backgrounds were to demonstrate in front of the Chinese consulate in Calgary, declaring with banners and placards that the government in Beijing must be held accountable for its complicity in the Darfur genocide and violence in Burma? What if such demonstrations are continuous, and grow, and spread to China’s missions in other countries? What would happen if everywhere Chinese diplomats, politicians and business people travel they are confronted by those who insist on making it an occasion for highlighting China’s destructive roles internationally and at home? To succeed, the campaign must be creative and focused. It must take advantage of every means offered through electronic communications.

The general lack of effective advocacy initiatives has not been lost on Khartoum’s génocidaires. Despite the enormous and consequential successes of the American-led divestment campaign, pressure must be ratcheted up even more. Other Canadian and European companies should follow the lead of Germany’s Siemens and Switzerland’s ABB Ltd., who have both suspended operations in Sudan. Let’s demand the same thing for Burma? Why would the government of Alberta agree recently to sell blocks of oil sands land to a Chinese oil company with close links to the government? The task is daunting but fully achievable, given the moral passion and creative energies of the Darfur and other advocacy communities.

Finally, the last words of the preface from The New Chinese Empire ( 2003) by Ross Terrill of Harvard University, who has spent his life studying and writing about the country: “One day the Communist regime in Beijing will pass away, in part for the reasons Suharto fell, in part for the reasons the Soviet Union collapsed, and we should be prepared…for the dangers and opportunities of that moment. The War on Terrorism has sharpened the issue of democracy in world affairs. Ultimately, terrorism is the antithesis of freedom and accountability. In between lies dictatorship. The 21 st century seems likely to be less kind to dictatorship than was the 20th century.”

Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.
Calgary, September 27, 2007

Original article from David Kilgour’s website

Posted in Africa, Asia, Burma, Canada, China, Crime against humanity, Darfur, David Kilgour, Falun Gong, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Report, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on Whither The Party-state in China Abroad and At Home? Speech by David Kilgour

Should the United States Boycott the Beijing Olympics?

Posted by Author on August 31, 2007

Newsletter, Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group, Aug. 28, 2007-Olympics 1936

On August 3, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, introduced a House Resolution to boycott the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

He explained, “The Olympics represent the noblest elements of humanity and the Chinese regime represents the opposite. The Olympic torch is supposed to be a beacon of light shining upon mankind’s higher aspirations in the world and it’s a travesty to have that torch hosted by a regime that is the world’s worst human rights abuser.”

( Picture: 1936 Berlin Olympics, Germany)

On March 28, 2007, actress Mia Farrow, a good-will ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund, drew the world’s attention to the Beijing Olympics when she and her son Ronan wrote an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal. In the article, Farrow launched a campaign to label the 2008 Olympics the “Genocide Olympics.” Her forthright candor gave voice to the world’s awakening shock at Communist China’s ever-burgeoning atrocities, its total disregard for human values and its severe human rights violations.

Not only is China bankrolling Darfur’s Genocide; for more than eight years it has sought to eliminate Falun Gong, which in 1999 had an estimated 70 million practitioners in China; it has likewise abused democracy activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, trade unionists, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighurs, ”unofficial” church members, and political dissidents.

In 2004, Asma Jahangir the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial,Zhang Xiaohong Summary or Arbitrary Executions stated, “The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by deaths in custody in China. Reports describe harrowing scenes in which detainees, many of whom are followers of the Falun Gong movement, die as a result of severe ill treatment, neglect or medical inattention. The cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description.”

(photo: When Zhang Xiaohong, 29, died after continuous torture, he weighed only 70 lbs.)

After the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, completed his fact-finding mission to China he issued a press release on December 2, 2005, detailing some of the alleged torture methods the Communist regime uses on its victims. While too numerous to list, the most abhorrent include electric shock, cigarette burns, guard instructed beatings, submersion in sewage pits, exposure to heat or cold and deprivation of sleep, food or water.

In March 2006, Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of the victims of alleged torture while in the Chinese government’s custody.

The CCP is also known to subject its victims to forced brainwashing, rape while in police custody, and harvesting their organs on call, resulting in their deaths, so that their organs can be perfectly fresh for transplantations in order to make huge profits.

On March 20, 2007, in a more extensive report Nowak confirmed allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, stating “Organ harvesting has been inflicted on a large number of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations for the purpose of making available organs for transplant operations.”

According to Amnesty International, China continually holds thousands of political prisoners without charge or trial and is responsible for over 80 percent of all executions documented in the world.

All of these reports culminated, on August 3, 2007, in Congressman Rohrabacher introducing House Resolution 610 [3], aptly named because the “610 Office” in China is an extra-constitutional agency established by the former leader Jiang Zemin. It was specifically created to persecute Falun Gong and has absolute power over every level of the Communist Party and all political and judiciary systems.

Rohrabacher’s H.Res. 610 expresses “the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Government of the People’s Republic of China stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens.”

Rohrabacher proclaims, “In 1936, Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics giving Hitler a worldwide platform to showcase his fascist propaganda. It was wrong to support the Olympic venue then and it’s wrong for the United States to support this prestigious event being held in a similarly fascist regime in 2008.”

Communist China lost its bid for the 2000 Olympics because of its horrific human rights violations. Recognizing this concern, the Chinese regime explicitly promised to improve human rights [4] in order to win the 2008 Olympics Games. Its subsequent record belies its empty promise. Human rights in China have not improved; they have grievously deteriorated.

China announced “One World, One Dream” as the slogan for the 2008 Olympics. Do we really dream of a world in which freedom and China’s human rights violations coexist?

We urge you to read Congressman Rohrabacher’s Resolution and then contact your House Representative in Washington, D.C. Ask him to co-sponsor or sign H.Res. 610. Your representative should then contact Mr. Paul Berkowitz or Tara Setmayer at 202-225-2415 at Rep. Rohrabacher’s office to co-sponsor or sign H.Res. 610.

Our dream should be a world without mind-boggling atrocities. Let us each do our small part to create that world.

UN Report on Organ Harvesting in China

To Sign the Online Petition:〈=en

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Why China Is Trying To Colonize Africa

Posted by Author on August 31, 2007

By David Blair, Telegraph, UK, 31/08/2007-

No one alive at the close of the 19th century could have missed the “scramble for Africa”. A motley collection of robber barons, imperialist ideologues, explorers, rogues and adventurers – the likes of Cecil Rhodes and the appalling Leopold II, King of the Belgians – carved up the continent in the name of five European powers.

Today, few appear to have noticed that a second “scramble for Africa” is under way. This time, only one giant country is involved, but its ambitions are every bit as momentous as those of Rhodes and company. With every day that passes, China’s economic tentacles extend deeper into Africa. While Europe sought direct political control, China is acquiring a vast and informal economic empire.

Reliable information on Beijing’s African adventure is hard to come by. But we do know that trade between China and the world’s poorest continent totalled about £30 billion last year – a sixfold increase since 2000.

China now buys about one third of its oil from Africa, mainly from Angola, where an £800 million deal to develop a new field was signed last May, and from Sudan, where Beijing built a 900-mile pipeline and invested at least £8 billion. China is spending another £1.2 billion on a new offshore oilfield in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Beijing has acquired mines in Zambia, textile factories in Lesotho, railways in Uganda, timber in the Central African Republic and retail developments in almost every capital.

The reasoning behind China’s new focus on Africa is simple. If its economic boom is to be sustained, Beijing must find more raw materials and new markets for manufactured goods. Chinese oil consumption is forecast to grow by at least 10 per cent every year for the foreseeable future. At this level of demand, its domestic reserves will vanish within 20 years.

Hence the quest for overseas oil. Yet Beijing’s options are limited. America and the Western powers have already snapped up the world’s largest oil reserves. Saudi Arabia and Iraq – with 45 per cent of the world’s oil between them – are in effect closed to China.

So the less developed tracts of Africa are an obvious target. Sudan’s six billion barrels of proven reserves – with more still to be discovered – have become of vital strategic significance to China.

These facts are of deep concern to many Africans. Their governments may welcome Chinese investment, but Africa’s independent voices do not share this enthusiasm. The consequences of China’s new role there have already been catastrophic.

Thanks to Beijing’s interest in Sudan’s oil, President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum has received a windfall. Ten years ago, Sudan’s oil revenues were negligible; last year, Chinese investment ensured that they totalled at least £3 billion.

Without this ready cash, Mr Bashir could never have sustained the war in Darfur, where four years of fighting have claimed about 300,000 lives, either from violence, starvation or disease. The military machine that has laid waste to vast tracts of land, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, was, in effect, bankrolled by Beijing. Moreover, China has sold weapons directly to Sudan, notably Fantan ground attack aircraft.

Elsewhere, China provides a convenient alternative for African leaders spurned by the West for their human rights abuses. Devoid of aid and foreign investment, President Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe would be entirely isolated but for China’s backing. Beijing has given Mugabe civilian and military aircraft, and its experts helped design a new mansion for the old dictator, in the style of a Chinese pagoda.

Yesterday, the Chinese government assured Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office minister responsible for Africa and Asia, that any future aid for Zimbabwe would be purely humanitarian. Whether China will keep this promise is another matter: Mugabe’s Zanu-PF has received Chinese money for at least 30 years; Zanu-PF’s national headquarters in Harare – found, aptly enough, on Rotten Row – was built by China.

The harsh truth is that Beijing has become the ally of choice for Africa’s worst rulers. While China likes to portray itself as a benign force in Africa, free of the historical baggage carried by the former colonial powers, Beijing’s conduct is already resented.

During last year’s presidential election in Zambia, the leading opposition candidate, Michael Sata, campaigned on an explicitly anti-Chinese ticket. Beijing’s investment was, Mr Sata argued, almost entirely worthless for Zambia.

Yes, China had reopened some copper mines, but the workers were being exploited and all health and safety regulations ignored. An industrial accident at one Chinese-run mine claimed 46 lives in 2005. Later, workers rioted over low wages and poor conditions. Meanwhile, local companies were being driven out of business by cheap imports.

While Mr Sata lost the election overall, he won huge majorities in all the areas of Zambia affected by Chinese investment. His defeat prompted a day of anti-Chinese riots in the capital, Lusaka. Every Chinese-owned shop in the city was barricaded to avoid being looted. Meanwhile, shops owned by whites or Asians carried on trading without incident.

Even inside Mugabe’s crumbling domain, it has not gone unnoticed that all three MA-60 aircraft supplied by China to Air Zimbabwe have a terrifying history of engine fires and emergency landings.

While Americans and Europeans have only just encountered shoddy Chinese consumer goods, ordinary Zimbabweans talk of “zing zong” products – by which they mean exports from China which have a tendency to break in your hands.

Like all empires, China’s economic domain in Africa is stirring deep resentment. The wonder is that it has happened so quickly, and where the scramble will end.

Original report from Telegraph.Co.UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, Commentary, Darfur, Economy, employment, Energy, Europe, Human Rights, News, Oil, Opinion, People, Politics, products, Social, USA, Worker, World | 2 Comments »

Olympians Must Speak Out On China

Posted by Author on August 27, 2007


In the summer of 1936, a year after the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws, the world turned a blind eye to Nazi Germany’s genocidal intentions as Hitler hosted the Olympics in Berlin. With next summer’s games set to take place in Beijing, Jewish and Israeli athletes have a responsibility to help ensure that the world does not make the same mistake.

This time the Jews are not the victims. Rather, China’s victims are the 1.2 million Tibetans who have died as a result of Beijing’s invasion of the previously independent Buddhist nation. They are the untold thousands of dissidents and prisoners of conscience who will be kept out of view in modern-day gulags while the world’s attention is focused on the action inside Beijing’s ultra-modern sporting arenas. They are the 200,000 or more Darfurians who reportedly have been killed as a result of the genocidal campaign waged by the Beijing-backed Sudanese regime.

China’s state oil company owns the largest stake in the consortium that is developing Sudan’s petroleum industry, and China buys about four-fifths of all Sudanese oil exports. An estimated 70 percent of the oil profits in Sudan are spent on a military that lays waste to villages in Darfur.

To stand by idly while the blood of others is shed would be un-Jewish. ONE JEWISH luminary who isn’t staying silent is Steven Spielberg, who has threatened to resign as artistic adviser to the games unless China changes course in Darfur. His demand, he explained in a letter to Chinese leader Hu Jintao, stems from his “personal commitment to do all I can to oppose genocide.”

Unfortunately, other Jewish leaders don’t seem to share that commitment. The president of the Israeli Olympic Committee, Zvi Varshaviak, said last month that in light of its experience, Israel “will continue to act toward keeping politics outside of sport in general and the Olympic Games specifically.”

Would Varshaviak also have remained silent in light of the Jewish experience at Berlin?

We are not proposing a boycott. Olympic boycotts have been tried before – Israel, the US and five dozen other countries stayed away from the 1980 Moscow Games to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. But this time a boycott might shift attention away from Beijing, when the goal instead should be to cast a spotlight squarely on China, on its human rights abuses and its support for genocide.

Indeed, human rights activists across the globe have teamed up to brand Beijing 2008 “The Genocide Olympics.” The Genocide Olympics campaign is a “nightmare” for the Chinese hosts and their corporate sponsors, according to Business Week magazine. But that nightmare pales in comparison to the daily nightmare of Darfurians, Tibetans and the democracy activists in Chinese prisons. IF THE NUMBERS from 2004 are any guide, more than 60 Jewish athletes – about half from Israel – will participate in the Beijing Games. They can play an important role in the Genocide Olympics effort.

Regardless of whether they are dressed in the blueand-white uniform of Israel, the blue and red of the US or the blue and yellow of Australia, they can wear the green wristbands that have become the symbol of the Save Darfur movement worldwide. When television cameras zoom in on Jewish athletes, the green bands will be a reminder of the ruthlessness of the Beijing regime. And the bands will be a powerful sign that on the most important human rights issues facing the world today, Jews will not remain on the sidelines.

When Jewish sports stars take their place among athletes from the 200plus nations at the games, they should also join ranks with the activists who have signed on to the Olympic Dream for Darfur Campaign – a list that includes Ira Newble of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Ruth Messinger of the American Jewish World Service and the actress Mia Farrow.

Organizers of the campaign recently lit an alternative Olympic torch near the Chad-Darfur border and are carrying it to locations of past mass murders across the world – including a Holocaust site in Germany – en route to its final destination in China.

Seventy-two years after Berlin, Jewish athletes from Israel and around the world will have the opportunity to speak out for justice in the same circumstances under which other nations were all too willing to stay silent.

If Jewish athletes take the lead, next year’s Olympic flame will shed light on the bloodshed that Beijing has carried on in darkness. – JTA

Peter Ganong is an intern at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a third-year economics student at Harvard. Daniel Hemel is a first-year international relations student at Oxford.

Original report from

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Edward McMillan-Scott: We Should Shun Beijing Olympics in the Land of Genocide

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007

By Edward McMillan-Scott, via Yorkshire Post, UK, 13 August 2007-Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott (photo right) is a Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, a vice-president of the European Parliament and founded the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Initiative.

The year-long countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics was celebrated by the Chinese regime with a firework display in Tiananmen Square – the focus of the June 1989 massacre of thousands of human rights activists. Massed dancers performed under the bland portrait of Mao Tse-tung, who murdered without qualms more than 70 million of his own people, 38 million through starvation.

Outside China, numerous reports were produced by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. Reporters without Borders said “despite the explicit undertakings it gave to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001, the Chinese government has done nothing to improve free expression or human rights in general…. Every year several thousand Chinese are executed in public, often in stadiums, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck or lethal injection”.

As I said following my visit to Beijing last year, when I met former prisoners of conscience, one of whom had shared a cell in one of China’s vast detention camps with Tiananmen activists, “the civilised world must shun China”.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has said he would not succumb to pressure from human rights groups or politicians over participation in what promises to be the most controversial Games since the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

However, this view that sport and politics don’t mix defies the Olympic Charter itself. Article 1 says it “seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”, surely the most universal of which is the UN Human Rights Charter.

It was the IOC itself which decided to exclude South Africa from the Games in 1964 as part of a world-wide campaign against apartheid. So I make no apology for urging our Prime Minister to begin a debate across the EU about a possible boycott of the Beijing Games. The EU’s foreign policy claims to be the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Gordon Brown, with the help of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and with all-party support at home, has shown a new foreign policy activism by making the genocide in Darfur his first priority. It is Chinese support for the murderous Sudanese government which has led Mia Farrow to call the Beijing Games the “Genocide Olympics”.

But there is still genocide inside China. Hundreds of thousands are in “administrative detention”. The world’s biggest country is becoming explosive, with tensions arising from huge distortions in wealth leading to corruption, a collapsing environment and universal repression of any dissent. A leaked official report said that some 90,000 impromptu demonstrations in rural areas took place within a recent 12-month period. These were primarily against expropriation of land and corrupt officialdom.

China’s economic boom is causing massive environmental degradation. The air in Beijing is appalling. Even Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, acknowledged that Beijing’s air pollution could force outdoor events to be abandoned.

The crackdown on religions is a brutal mistake from the regime’s standpoint, as it will lead, in my view, to its collapse. In any event, it is of fundamental importance in the coming period. Recently, Beijing has modified its policy by promoting a “patriotic” or authorised Buddhism.

This is possibly in recognition of the role of religions in bringing down the Soviet Union – Catholics in Poland and Protestants elsewhere across Eastern Europe who had simply had enough. Faith cannot be killed.

The Vatican has until now accepted the appointment of its senior clerics by the Communist Party of China but is becoming restive; several million Catholics secretly appoint their own bishops. Underground Anglican churches, too, abound. Muslims have been shot for “separatism” and those with passports have had them removed this year, to prevent them from making the Haj.

Patient and proud, Tibetans have suffered humiliation since Chinese troops occupied their lovely country in 1951. Beijing rules with a heavy hand, enforcing strict controls on religious activity. It routinely vilifies the 71-year-old Dalai Lama, and imprisoned his chosen successor, the “soul boy”. Beijing has recently sacked hundreds of Tibetan officials and replaced them with Han loyalists.

The Falun Gong movement, a spiritual Buddhist group, has had the worst treatment after it grew in only seven years of existence to 100 million adherents. Over 3,000 Falun Gong have been tortured to death since 1999 by a regime which demands that they recant.

Survivors have told me that they are the only prisoners who get a health check. Why? One had seen his friend’s cadaver in the prison hospital with holes where body parts had been removed. China’s booming organ transplant industry – run by the People’s Liberation Army – is harvesting Falun Gong prisoners’ vital organs to order. They sell at a premium as practitioners neither drink nor smoke.

The Genocide Convention refers to any acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Tragically, China today abounds in examples of continuing internal genocide. Let us give the regime until Christmas to put the past aside, or we must apply the Olympic spirit and shun their Games.

– Original report from : Edward McMillan-Scott: We should shun these Olympics in a land of genocide

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Spielberg Mulls Quitting Olympics to Pressure China on Darfur

Posted by Author on July 27, 2007

By RUSSELL GOLDMAN, ABCnews, U.S., July 26, 2007-

Steven Spielberg, under pressure from Darfur activists, may quit his post as artistic adviser to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, unless China takes a harder line against Sudan, a representative of the film director told ABC News.

China, Sudan’s largest oil customer and perennial defender, has come under renewed scrutiny in the lead up to the Olympics, as the country juggles its need for cheap energy with its desire to host a trouble-free games.

As celebrities-cum-activists increasingly link the ongoing genocide with China’s patronage, some — most notably and vocally, the actress Mia Farrow — have accused Spielberg of complicity, by not using his prominence and position to pressure the Chinese government to change course.

“Is Mr. Spielberg, who in 1994 founded the Shoah Foundation to record the testimony of survivors of the holocaust, aware that China is bankrolling Darfur’s genocide?” Farrow and her son Ronan wrote in a March Wall Street Journal editorial.

In that same piece, “The Genocide Olympics,” Farrow compared Spielberg to the Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl whose film “Olympia” was a paean to the 1936 Berlin Games.

“Does Mr. Spielberg really want to go down in history as the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games,” Farrow wrote.

Days after Farrow’s editorial, Spielberg wrote an open letter to Hu Jintao, president of China. “I am writing this letter to you, not as one of the overseas artistic advisors to the Olympic Ceremonies, but as a private citizen who has made a personal commitment to do all I can to oppose genocide. … Accordingly, I add my voice to those who ask that China change its policy toward Sudan and pressure the Sudanese government to accept the entrance of United Nations peacekeepers to protect the victims of genocide in Darfur,” Spielberg wrote.

Excluding that letter, Spielberg and his representatives have, until now, been tight-lipped on what additional action the director might take.

“Steven will make a determination in the next few weeks regarding his work with the Chinese. Our main interest is ending the genocide. No one is clear on the best way to do this,” Spielberg’s spokesman Andy Spahn told (…… more details from ABCNEWS report )

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Darfur Crisis Sparks Louder Calls For Boycott of Beijing Olympics

Posted by Author on June 25, 2007

By Darren Taylor, VOA News, Washington, 19 June 2007-

As the humanitarian crisis in Darfur continues, calls in the United States and Europe for an international boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics because of China’s support of Sudan are intensifying. Human rights activists say the Sudanese government is using a militia, the janjaweed, to “exterminate” the black people of Darfur. They claim that 400, 000 people have lost their lives and more than two million have fled to refugee camps as a result of the violence. The activists say China bears responsibility for the tragedy, given its military and economic support of the Sudanese administration. In the first part of a series on the growing calls for a worldwide boycott of the Chinese Olympics, VOA’s Darren Taylor reports on the reasons behind the targeting of Beijing because of the Darfur conflict.

United States officials, including President George W. Bush, have branded the Darfur situation “genocide” – a characterization that rankles with Khartoum, which claims that only a few thousand people have lost their lives in the region as a result of “tribal disputes” and “rebel attacks.”

According to Salah Elguneid, Sudan’s Deputy Ambassador to the US, the “sudden cries” for action to be taken against China because of Darfur, are happening for the “simple reason” that the word “genocide” is being used to describe what is essentially a “tribal conflict over scarce resources.”

“Through this false description of what is happening in Darfur, irresponsible people are sweeping up feelings and as a result China, Sudan’s close ally, is now also in the middle of the storm,” Salah explains.

As the violence has continued in Darfur, with accompanying images of death and destruction, a powerful, vocal and well-funded advocacy campaign with thousands of members has risen to the fore in America, with off-shoots throughout Europe and stronger efforts to involve activists in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Sudan has repeatedly balked at allowing a significant force of United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur, despite making numerous agreements that it would do so. Khartoum has agreed to a force of between 20,000 and 25, 000 multinational soldiers for Darfur to protect civilians, and also appears to have agreed that the troops be under UN command. The government of Sudan had previously insisted that the proposed peacekeeping force – agreed to in terms of a special UN resolution – be made up mainly of African Union troops, that it should function under AU command, and that the UN troops should serve mostly in a logistical capacity and not as “active” peacekeepers.

An AU contingent of about 7,000 soldiers in Darfur has been unable to secure peace in the region – largely because the force is overstretched and under-resourced. But Khartoum’s agreement that the peacekeepers be controlled by the UN has opened the way for the troops to be better funded by the international body.

But activists remain skeptical, given Khartoum’s tendency to make agreements – only to fail to implement them.

“Unless we see real, on-the-ground movement to significantly protect the people of Darfur, I’m sure calls like the one for a boycott of next year’s Olympics in China will get louder in the months ahead,” says Anita Sharma, of the Enough Campaign to end the “genocide” in Darfur.

Given Khartoum’s apparent intransigence with regard to ending the atrocities, activist attention has shifted to China, because of the Far Eastern power’s strong economic, military and political ties with Sudan and it’s hosting of a high profile global event next year – the Olympic Games, scheduled to begin in August 2008.

While the calls for an international boycott of the Beijing Olympics are so far only being made by a smattering of American and European politicians, the major advocacy groups around the Darfur crisis have made it clear that they support the increased pressure being brought to bear on China to act as an honest broker in helping to end what the UN has termed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

China is Sudan’s most important foreign ally, and is also the country’s major international trade partner. The giant of the Far East has invested heavily in Sudan’s oil industry – financing its oil pipeline, for example – and buys about 400, 000 barrels of Sudanese oil a day. This translates to China purchasing about two-thirds of all the oil produced in Sudan. China also sells weapons and ammunition to Khartoum – in so doing, say activists, oiling the wheels of war in Darfur and directly supporting what they term “genocide.”

Beijing has used its veto on the UN Security Council to weaken resolutions aimed at putting pressure on the administration of President Omar al-Bashir to stop the killings in Darfur. China insisted, for example, that Resolution 1706 – which authorized the UN peacekeeping force to protect civilians – be employed only “with the consent” of Sudan. This led to months of stalling by Khartoum, and an escalation in the violence in Darfur.

Beijing has also condemned US financial sanctions on Sudanese companies designed to pressure al-Bashir with regard to Darfur.

If positive moves to bring peace to Darfur are not witnessed within the next few months, say the activists, there’s a strong possibility that they’ll join the calls for a global boycott of the Chinese Games.

“We want action, not endless agreements,” says Sharma.

Already, activists throughout the US and Europe have termed the Beijing event the “Genocide Olympics” and have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on international advertising campaigns highlighting China’s alleged fomentation of the Darfur conflagration.

In late May, the Save Darfur Coalition placed advertisements in major newspapers around the world – including in several Chinese-language newspapers in Asia, and spotlighted China’s “unique position to pressure the Sudanese government into stopping the bloodshed and allowing United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur to protect civilians.” The Save Darfur adverts underscored the fact that China is “happy” to emphasize its “beneficent role” as host of the 2008 Olympics – but not its support of a “regime engaged in genocide.”

Politicians and US celebrities, such as actress and UN goodwill ambassador, Mia Farrow, and several musicians, are stepping forward to add their voices against China. Farrow and American Sudan analyst, Eric Reeves, recently launched the ‘Dream for Darfur’ campaign. It stops short of calling for an all-out Olympics boycott – at this stage – but appeals to the international community to pressure China to act with regard to gaining a lasting harmony in Darfur.

American politicians are becoming increasingly involved in campaigns surrounding Darfur and the Chinese Olympics.

A letter signed by more than 100 US lawmakers was recently sent to China’s President Hu Jintao warning him of a public relations “disaster” should Beijing fail to use its influence over Sudan.

“It would be a disaster for China if the Games were to be marred by protests, from concerned individuals and groups, who will undoubtedly link your government to the continued atrocities in Darfur, if there is no significant improvement in the conditions,” the letter stated.

New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, who intends standing in next year’s US presidential election, says he’ll support a boycott of the Beijing Olympics – if China fails to pressure Sudan to stop the violence in Darfur. Several powerful French politicians, such as Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, and former presidential candidates, Francois Bayrou and Segolene Royale, also support such moves.

High-profile Africans are being brought into the anti-Chinese Olympics fold. They’re joining Darfuri refugees in appealing to Beijing to avoid a boycott of next year’s Games by helping to secure peace in the region. Tegla Lourope, Kenyan marathon athlete and holder of several long-distance world records, recently testified at a US Congress hearing held specifically to examine a possible boycott of the 2008 Olympics.

“We know that the Chinese are supporting the government of Sudan…. It’s time to tell the people in China during the Olympics…. That they should see that the businesses that they deal in Sudan should bring peace, not pain, in the eyes of the (Darfuri) children, in the eyes of the poor that cannot talk,” Lourope said.

In addition to her weight as an international sports celebrity, Lourope’s testimony was especially effective given the fact that she’s a survivor of conflict in Africa. Growing up in Kapenguria, a district in Kenya near the country’s border with Uganda, she witnessed killings as ethnic violence swept her village. Lourope continues to return to the area to inspect the ravages of war.

Survivors of the violence in Darfur, such as Daudi Hari, have also added their voices to those of the activists who are threatening to lead a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

Hari recently told US Congress members: “To bring peace to my people and stop the genocide, I recommend that you pressure the government of China to not support the government of Sudan in killing my people.”

Tens of thousands of people around the world have already signed petitions to boycott the Games. But John Prendergast, of the International Crisis Group, says the Chinese still have time to rescue the Olympics, and he sees encouraging signs that Beijing will play a positive role in bringing peace to Darfur.

“You have the first time this regime (China) has opened itself up, because it has a vested interest in presenting a new face to the world in the context of the Olympics; it’s vulnerable to pressure and it wants to end this crisis – simply because it wants it off its back.” (…… more details from VOA News )

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China Has Been Politicizing the Olympic Games All Along

Posted by Author on May 31, 2007

Washington Post, Tuesday, May 29, 2007-

The Olympics are only a year away, but Beijing’s human rights record isn’t getting any better.

SUPPOSE YOU have a country that’s quickly growing into a superpower but has a terrible human rights record. Granting it the Olympics should force it to shape up, right? With all eyes on this country, it can’t possibly continue to get away with rampant executions, political oppression, forced abortions and organ harvesting. Right?

That was the gist of what China argued in 2001, anyway. “By allowing Beijing to host the Games,” the vice president of Beijing’s Olympic bid committee said in April 2001, “you will help the development of human rights.”

Instead, getting the 2008 Games seems to have emboldened China’s communist rulers. Amnesty International recently released a report indicating that despite a few minor reforms such as the temporary loosening of control over foreign media, human rights violations in China persist and in some areas have worsened.

Protests in Guangxi region last week revealed what appears to be a resurgence of the state’s harsh family planning policies, which place quotas on the number of children allowed. Enforcement of the policies, begun in 1980, had seemed to wane in recent years, but now reports of forced abortions and sterilizations are reappearing. Extensive use of detention without trial, censorship of domestic media and the Internet, and intimidation of political activists (including two AIDS activists put under house arrest last week) also appear to have increased. The government has been shutting down Web sites.

China is cracking down on dissidents because of, not in spite of, the Olympics. “[S]trik[ing] hard at hostile forces,” as China’s minister of public security told a state-run publication in March, is meant to “create a harmonious society and a good social environment for successfully holding . . . the Beijing Olympic Games.”

China is not just abusing human rights at home; it’s countenancing genocide abroad.

Despite increasing evidence that the Sudanese government is contributing to mass killings in Darfur, China remains Khartoum’s main commercial partner, buying two-thirds of Sudan’s oil exports. Amnesty International has alleged that China is supplying the arms used in the Darfur conflict, which China denies. China has generally refused to take a stance on the internal politics of Sudan, just as it wishes the world would stay out of its own internal politics, and it has blocked U.N. sanctions against Khartoum. In recent months, however, China has taken credit for persuading Sudan to accept U.N. and African Union peacekeeping forces. Beijing also recently sent a “special envoy” to Darfur. These gestures are not enough.

China has criticized human rights activists who call the 2008 Olympics the “Genocide Olympics,” saying it is improper to “politicize the Olympic Games.” But the Chinese government has been politicizing this event all along.

original from Washington Post

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Commentary: Tragedy Exposes China’s Ugly Paranoia

Posted by Author on April 5, 2007

The Gazette (Montreal), Canada, April 04, 2007-

The ugly side of China’s 30-year-and-counting economic miracle was laid bare once again last week in Beijing’s handling of the collapse of a subway tunnel under construction in the capital in preparation for the 2008 summer Olympics.

Right after the cave-in and for eight long hours, the weird, instinctive reaction of site supervisors was to hush up the accident. Six workers died in the collapse, and others were injured, but instead of shouting from the rooftops to summon help, the bosses confiscated the cellphones other workers were trying to use to call for help. Managers sealed the site, warned workers to keep quiet, and told police who came to the site perimeter that nothing was wrong.

There’s a tragic irony in the news that 10 supervisors have now been arrested: Their reflex reaction was learned by experience under the regime that arrested them. It’s no coincidence that Moscow had a similar reaction in 2000 after an accident aboard the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk. For four days, Russian authorities refused rescue-help offers from the British, Danish, U.S. and French navies, presumably to preserve the doomed Kursk’s secrets. In another case, China lost precious time stoutly denying for a long period that a SARS outbreak even existed.

Deny, delay and cover up – how a political system deals with accidents, natural or man-made, says everything about that system. And secrecy verging on paranoia is an old habit that dies hard in post-communist countries. Human life is subordinated to the interests of The State.

China betrays that same tin ear on the international scene. The People’s Republic goes out of its way to aid, finance and support some of the world’s worst pariah states. Its best pals in Africa, for example, are Sudan and Zimbabwe, the former engaged in genocide against Darfuris and the latter a regime viciously repressing internal opposition.

How does the West respond to China’s persistent failures in such matters? Not at all, apart from some tut-tutting and the occasional murmur about rights. The world’s economic order is so intertwined with China’s that business and political leaders dare not rap its knuckles.

A justification for awarding the 2008 Olympics to China was that greater connection with the rest of the world would accelerate the pace of human rights reform and improved governance in general, in China. This subway incident suggests that there is still a long way to go.

For a couple of weeks in the summer of 2008, Olympic athletes will converge on Beijing and there will be much talk of what unites us all and of the universal language of sports. But those warm and worthy feelings should not blind us to the fact that in spite of all its economic dazzle, China’s long march toward democracy is just beginning.

original report from The Gazette (Montreal)

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China Strengthens Military Ties With Sudan Despite Darfur Genocide

Posted by Author on April 4, 2007

By Daniel Schearf, VOA News, 03 April 2007-

Chinese officials say they will push forward with military cooperation with Sudan, despite accusations Khartoum supports militias that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Sudan’s Darfur region. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

Western nations have long urged Beijing to use its influence with Sudan to get U.N. peacekeepers into the war-torn Darfur region, but China has instead used its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to prevent stronger condemnation of Khartoum.

This week, Beijing moved to strengthen ties with Sudan. During a visit by Sudan’s military chief to Beijing, China’s minister of defense said his government is willing to further develop cooperation between the two militaries in “every sphere.”

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang Tuesday urged Sudan to be more flexible on the deployment of U.N. troops. But he indicated China would not support tougher measures against Khartoum.

“We think Sudan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty should be respected and a political solution should be found to the Darfur issue through equal dialogue and discussions,” he said.

China is the biggest buyer of Sudan’s oil and a major source of weapons for Khartoum.

U.N. reports say the Sudanese government supports militias that have raped and killed about 200,000 people in Darfur and driven millions from their homes during a four-year civil war.

Washington and London want stronger sanctions imposed against Khartoum for atrocities committed in Darfur, which the United States has called genocide.

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir agreed in November to gradually allow 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur to support overwhelmed African Union troops. But Mr. al-Bashir has delayed negotiations on the deployment and now indicates he will only accept technical and logistical support from the United Nations.

On Sunday gunmen killed five AU peacekeepers along the border between Darfur and Chad. It was the deadliest attack since the peacekeepers were deployed to Darfur.

China’s relationship with Sudan has prompted human rights activists to call for a boycott of the Summer Olympics being held in Beijing in 2008.

original report

China and Darfur: The Genocide Olympics? Sudan Tribune, 14th December 2006

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China: Genocide Games

Posted by Author on March 26, 2007

By Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe, MA, USA, March 25, 2007-

In the summer of 2008, the world will turn its gaze to China and the Beijing Olympics. A growing number of activists want to make sure the shadow of Darfur, and China’s complicity, are what the world remembers.

Sitting at the computer in the office of his Northampton home last month, Eric Reeves pushed the “send” button, intending to spread an idea — a modest, but potentially powerful idea.

Reeves, a professor of literature at Smith College who has become one of the world’s foremost experts on the humanitarian disaster in Darfur, has concluded that only China, as Sudan’s biggest economic and diplomatic supporter and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, can stop the slaughter that President Bush has called genocide (as many as 400,000 people have been killed in the Darfur region of Sudan since 2003, and more than 3 million others may face a similar fate). And China, says Reeves, can only be pressured to act by appealing to its sense of national pride and honor — forcing Beijing to choose between its lucrative relationship with Khartoum and having its coveted games lumped in the collective consciousness with Nazi Germany’s hosting of the Berlin games in 1936.

A United Nations plan to send in an armed force to protect humanitarian workers and stop the killing was sidetracked last year when the Khartoum regime refused to let them in, and China abstained from the vote. Most foreign aid workers have withdrawn from the area for lack of protection.

Sudan has weathered US and European sanctions for more than a decade, largely because China, along with several countries in the Muslim world, has shown no compunction in investing in Sudan. Buoyed by its oil exports, 70 percent of which go to China, Sudan’s economy is humming along even as it is a pariah in the Western world.

Some human rights organizations, such as Reporters Without Borders, are calling for a boycott of the Summer Olympics in Beijing next year, while other activists, including former Beatle Paul McCartney, call for boycotting Chinese products. Reeves is pushing what he considers a more realistic campaign to “brand” the 2008 Games the “Genocide Olympics,” harnessing the energy of a frustrated, disheartened activist base.

“A boycott won’t work, and it would be deeply divisive anyway,” said Reeves. “It’s time to begin shaming China. China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide makes its Olympic slogan, ‘One world, one dream,’ ghastly in its irony. The US government is not going to do anything. The European Union is not going to lead either. It’s time to take the effort private.”

Reeves is not alone in believing that only China has the influence over the Khartoum regime to persuade it to accept a peacekeeping force and stop the killing. Karen Hirschfeld, the Sudan coordinator for Physicians for Human Rights, points out that while more than two-thirds of Sudan’s crude exports go to China, that makes up only 10 percent of China’s oil imports. In other words, Sudan needs China more than the other way around. “China does have this leverage,” she said……. (more details from Boston Globe)

China Is Complict In The Darfur Genocide, Sudan Tribune, 11 February 2007
China and Darfur: The Genocide Olympics? , Sudan Tribune, 15 December, 2006

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U.N. push for a company list in Sudan may embarrass China

Posted by Author on March 17, 2007

By John Zarocostas, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, March 16, 2007-

GENEVA — China — and its business interests in Sudan — could be embarrassed internationally if the United Nations acts on the recommendation that a list of companies doing business in the African country be drawn up and published.

“The real target here is Chinese companies in Sudan,” said a top human rights diplomat, who requested anonymity.

“This would certainly bring a specific focus to the debate on corporate social responsibility. … It would be very embarrassing for many countries including some members of the Security Council, especially the Chinese, if it was carried out well,” the diplomat said.

The recommendation to publish a list comes in a report from the high-level mission led by Nobel Laureate Jody Williams that was released Monday and is expected to be presented to the Human Rights Council, which lists 47 countries as members, today. The mission was denied entry into Darfur.

“The international community has not been spot on in protecting the people of Darfur,” said Mrs. Williams in a telephone interview.

The drawing up of a corporate list “would certainly put pressure on all companies doing business with the government of Sudan,” said an ambassador from a Group of Eight country, who asked not to be identified.

The panel also recommended that U.N. agencies “abstain from entering into business transactions with any of the identified companies.”

Such a move is likely to spur calls for divestiture by state-run pension funds and university endowments from companies that appear on such a list. Similar actions in the 1980s played a major role in the demise of South Africa’s apartheid regime.

“Companies operating in Sudan may be complicit in crimes against humanity and liable in a lot of jurisdictions,” said an eminent international jurist.

Sudan, backed by Islamic countries, has contested the accuracy and independence of the mission’s findings.

The request by the panel calls for the list to be drawn up not by the U.N. Security Council but by the General Assembly, which would make it difficult for China to block.

China’s National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has a major stake in Sudan’s oil production and is also active in exploration activity throughout the country, diplomats said.

In February 2006, Sudan’s oil production averaged 536,000 barrels a day, according to estimates by the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

China is the principal export destination for Sudan’s crude exports.

Ahmed El Mardi, Sudan’s minister of justice, told reporters that the report was “null and void” and “unfair,” and did not represent the true situation.

He said most of the oil companies operating in Sudan were mainly from Asia — China, Malaysia and India. Sudanese officials said the French group Total has also been active for more than 50 years, and Britain-based company White Nile also has oil interests.

original report from THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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China Is Complict In The Darfur Genocide

Posted by Author on February 11, 2007

By Eric Reeves, Sudan Tribune, Sudan, Sunday 11 February 2007-

•China abstained from UN Security Council Resolution 1706 (August 2006), compromising international support for a critically needed peace support operation in Darfur

•China has repeatedly and uncritically supported claims of national sovereignty by Khartoum, emboldening the regime in its defiance of the UN and international community

•In pursuit of Sudan’s oil riches, China has for many years ignored massive human rights abuses and atrocity crimes by the Khartoum regime throughout Sudan

•China has been Khartoum’s leading weapons supplier over the past decade and more; many of these weapons have been used in Darfur

•China has sent the diplomatic signals which, in their tepid nature, convince Khartoum it can complete its genocidal counter-insurgency war in Darfur without serious consequences
( – Extract from On Darfur, China and the 2008 Olympic Games )

Video: Stop Genocide in Darfur


China and Darfur: The Genocide Olympics?

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China and Darfur: The Genocide Olympics?

Posted by Author on December 14, 2006

Sudan Tribune, Sudan, Friday 15 December-

Editorial, The washington Post

Dec 14, 2006 — Newspapers have been running harrowing ads on the genocide in Darfur. They feature images of suffering coupled with appeals to President Bush to halt it. But the key to this tragedy lies not in the killing fields of western Sudan nor even in the White House. It is to be found instead in Khartoum, Sudan’s booming capital. The sleek new office towers sprouting up in the commercial district explain why Sudan’s government has resisted American and European pressure to end the genocide. But they also show why Arabs and Asians — and especially the Chinese — have the power to influence Sudan and the responsibility to use it.

Sudan has been subject to U.S. sanctions since the 1990s. It has been condemned in numerous United Nations resolutions, and Western firms that do business there risk alienating customers and investors. And yet a $4 billion complex of offices, parks and hotels is rising at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, complete with the new sail-shaped headquarters of Petrodar, a Chinese-Malaysian-United Arab Emirates oil partnership. Thanks to these investors, along with Kuwaitis, Saudis, Indians and Pakistanis, Sudan’s petro-economy is flourishing. This year the economy is expected to grow 13 percent on the back of oil exports, most of which go to China.

So Sudan’s government feels it can ignore Western revulsion at genocide because it has no need of Western money. But the bigger question is why China, along with Sudan’s other Arab and Asian partners, feels free to trample on basic standards of decency.

China’s economic model rests on access to Western markets — access that can’t be assured given popular resentment of China’s growing trade surplus. Equally, China seeks acceptance at the world’s diplomatic top table — and this cause is unlikely to be advanced if China is perceived to be complicit in genocide. Imagine the newspaper ads leading up to the Beijing Games in 2008: Human rights campaigners will call on the world to boycott the Genocide Olympics.

China recently demonstrated its leverage over Sudan, prevailing upon the regime to allow the embattled African Union force in Darfur to be supplied with better equipment. But China should join with the United States and others to broker a cease-fire in Darfur, without which even a beefed-up peace monitoring force cannot save civilians. In recent weeks, fighting has intensified in the region and spilled into neighboring Chad; refugees are fleeing to the Central African Republic, which is embroiled in its own internal conflict. A regional catastrophe is brewing that could be worse even than the past three years of killing.

This crisis isn’t going to fix itself. Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir rivals Iran’s leader in genocide denial: He recently accused aid workers of exaggerating Darfur’s crisis to preserve their jobs. Doesn’t China feel qualms about propping up this ogre? Perhaps Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., who is in China along with a team of Cabinet officials and the Fed chairman today and tomorrow, might trouble to ask that question.

Original report here

Posted in Africa, Beijing Olympics, China, Darfur, Economy, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, military, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on China and Darfur: The Genocide Olympics?

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