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Calling on China to Use its Leverage to Stop Genocide in Darfur

Posted on by Karina

Tonight, the House passed a resolution introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee calling on the government of the People's Republic of China to use its unique influence and economic leverage to stop genocide and violence in Darfur.

The government of China has long-standing economic and military ties with Sudan, which it continues to strengthen despite the genocide in Darfur:

(1) China reportedly purchases as much as 70 percent of Sudan’s oil;

(2) China currently has at least $3,000,000,000 invested in the Sudanese energy sector, for a total of $10,000,000,000 since the 1990s;

(3) Sudan’s Joint Chief of Staff, Haj Ahmed El Gaili, recently visited Beijing for discussions with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gang Chuan and other military officials as part of an eight-day tour of China; Cao pledged closer military relations with Sudan, saying that China was `willing to further develop cooperation between the two militaries in every sphere’;

(4) China has reportedly cancelled approximately $100 million in debt owed by the Sudanese Government;

(5) China is building infrastructure in Sudan and provided funds for a presidential palace in Sudan at a reported cost of approximately $20,000,000; and

(6) Data provided by the Government of Sudan to the United Nations for 2005 states that Sudan imported at least $24,000,000 in arms and ammunition from the People’s Republic of China, as well as nearly $57,000,000 in parts and aircraft equipment, and $2,000,000 in helicopter and airplane parts from China, making China the largest provider of military arms and equipment to Sudan, even as Sudan has defended its right to transfer and use such military arms and equipment in Darfur for military operations;

The resolution calls upon the government of the People’s Republic of China to condemn the atrocities taking place in Darfur and end military and economic assistance to the government of Sudan until Sudan stops civilian attacks and engages in peace negotiations. Specifically, this resolution calls on China to urge Sudan to allow the entry of the U.N. sanctioned peacekeeping force and comply with U.N. resolutions demanding that the Government of Sudan disarm militias operating in Darfur. It also calls on China to join the international community in threatening sanctions on the Sudanese government if it continues to carry out or support attacks on innocent civilians or to frustrate diplomatic efforts to end the violence.

The resolution also calls on China, as they are preparing to host the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, to act consistently with the Olympic standard of preserving human dignity and the Olympic motto of ‘One World, One Dream.’ As the resolution states, “the spirit of the Olympics, which is to bring together nations and people from all over the world in peace, is incompatible with any actions directly or indirectly supporting acts of genocide.”

Rep. Lee on the resolution:

Rep. Barbara Lee:
“Mr. Speaker, there is no way some sugar coat this. China is the principal partner that has thumbed its nose at the international community. China reportedly purchases as much as 70% of Sudan’s oil and has canceled over $100 million in debt and provided $20 million in funding to build a palace. China unquestionably has the ability to influence Khartoum, but they cannot do so by following a policy of appeasement.”
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