Bush presses China to use influence in Sudan

August 11th, 2008 - 12:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 11 (DPA) US President George W. Bush Monday urged China to use its influence on the Sudanese government to help resolve the humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region. Chinese leaders should make use of their relations with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who was recently accused by the International Criminal Court of genocide and war crimes, Bush told US broadcaster NBC in Beijing.

“My attitude is, is if you got relations with Mr. Bashir, think about helping to solve the humanitarian crisis in Darfur,” Bush said.

“That was my message to the Chinese government,” he said, referring to talks Sunday with President Hu Jintao and other leaders.

Bush told NBC he was disappointed that China revoked a visa for Joey Cheek, a US Olympic gold medallist in speed skating, who had planned to travel to Beijing during the Olympics to draw attention to the Darfur crisis.

“Joey Cheek has just got to know that I took the Sudanese message for him,” he said.

Bush said it was “hard to tell” if Chinese leaders had heeded his message.

“All I can tell you is, is that it is best to be in the position where a leader will listen to you,” he said.

After his talks with Hu Sunday, Bush watched US athletes compete in Olympic swimming and basketball events.

Earlier Sunday, he visited the Kuanjie Church for morning worship, urging China not to “fear the influence of loving religion.”

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