China slams NGOs, media in Darfur

BEIJING - China's envoy to the Sudanese region of Darfur yesterday accused Western media and non-governmental organisbations of stirring up anti-Chinese feelings among opposition groups in the country.

BEIJING - China's envoy to the Sudanese region of Darfur yesterday accused Western media and non-governmental organisbations of stirring up anti-Chinese feelings among opposition groups in the country.

China has faced widespread Western criticism that it has not used its oil, arms and business stakes in Sudan to press for an end to the havoc in the Darfur region.

Last year, the rebel Justice and Equality Movement attacked a Chinese-run oilfield in Sudan as part of a campaign to force Chinese oil companies to leave, and has previously demanded China pull its peacekeepers out of Darfur.

China's Darfur envoy, Liu Guijin, said such groups did not understand what Beijing was trying to do in the region.

"Some important opposition groups have some views on China, but it's hard to simply call them an anti-Chinese force. Because of the Western media, and especially the stirring of some non-governmental organisations, China's role has been distorted in their eyes."

Liu has met opposition groups in Darfur in a bid to find a peaceful solution.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao later said China would increase its peacekeeping presence in Darfur but stressed they would be engineers rather than armed units. - Reuters

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