Wednesday, May 09, 2007

US Congress raps China over Darfur

From the AP:

More than 100 US lawmakers signed a robustly worded letter calling on China's President Hu Jintao to take immediate action to stop bloodshed in Darfur, a senior lawmaker said Thursday.

Tom Lantos (news, bio, voting record), Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed grave concern at continuing atrocities in the region, and warned that as the largest foreign investor in Sudan, China had influence to wield.

"The international community is stepping up to its responsibilities, but unless China does its part to ensure that the government of Sudan accepts the best and most reasonable path to peace, history will judge your government as having bank-rolled a genocide," the letter to Hu read.

The letter also warned China's image could be tarnished ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics if it failed to do more to curtail Khartoum.

"This appalling genocide has already destroyed untold numbers of families, due to displacement or death of a loved one," Lantos said.

"If China fails to do its part, it risks being forever known as the host of the 'Genocide Olympics.'"

The new letter mirrors a similar warning to China signed by nearly the entire US Senate earlier this month, which called on Hu to prod Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir to halt military operations throughout Darfur, withdraw troops from the area and follow through on Khartoum's agreement to accept a joint UN and African Union peacekeeping force. more

To stay current on the crisis in Darfur visit the blog The Coalition for Darfur