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Envoy: China to Send Liaison Officer to Darfur
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China's Special Representative on African Affairs Liu Guijin said in Beijing on Tuesday that China will send a military liaison officer to Sudan's Darfur.


Liu, who has just paid a seven-day visit to the US and the UN, said China has informed the UN of its decision.


China has pledged to send a 315-men multi-functional engineering unit to Darfur in early October, which would be the first batch of UN-AU peacekeepers in place, and China will stick to its commitment, Liu said.


Liu visited Washington and New York from September 4 to 7, and met with many US and UN officials, including US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Special Envoy of US President on Sudan affairs Andrew Natsios.


Liu reiterated China's constructive and unique role in finding a solution to the Darfur issue, saying China's role was positively viewed by the US and the UN.


He said China has persuaded Sudan to accept the Annan plan, also under efforts of the international community, and China has provided many aid and help with regard to the reconstruction and development of Darfur.


He said China has shipped and sent all the batches of humanitarian aid worth of 80 million yuan (some US$11 million) to Darfur. A Chinese company has finished a water supply project in south Darfur, which will greatly relieve water shortage there, and another Chinese company has accepted the same task in north Darfur.


In addition, some Chinese companies in Sudan were encouraging their workers to contribute money for the reconstruction of Darfur, which could amount to US$2 million as he knew, said Liu, adding China is also planning to send a medical team to Darfur.


Liu pledged that China will provide more aid and help to Darfur when it is necessary.


"The US and UN both hold positive views on China's role in resolving the Darfur issue, and hope China will play a bigger role in this regard," said Liu.


On the process of the Darfur issue, Liu said the biggest problem facing the issue at present is money, as the UN-AU peace keeping mission may need US$2.5 billion, and he hoped this problem would be resolved as soon as possible through the UN.


He said Darfur issue has made some progress on four important aspects, namely UN-AU hybrid force, political process, humanitarian aid and reconstruction, adding the political solution to the Darfur issue was proved to be effective and the international community should continue to insist on this road.


Liu called on all parties to the Darfur issue, including the Sudanese government and Sudan's rebel groups, to show restraint for the smooth resolving of the issue.


Liu also criticized reports that "politicized" China-Sudan relationship, saying the relationship between China and Sudan is no more special than its relations with other African countries and developing nations.


(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2007)

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