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China's influence on Darfur issue should not be overestimated
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China played some special roles in the Darfur issue, but its influence should not be overestimated, said Chinese government's special representative for Darfur Liu Guijin in Beijing on Friday.

Liu told a press briefing that China and Sudan had always maintained friendly cooperative relations, therefore China could make some special contributions to the Darfur issue.

"China has done a great deal in order to solve the Darfur issue," Liu said, noting that the Chinese government actively made mediating work and maintained that the issue should be solved through dialogue and negotiation.

China has pledged to send a 315-member multi-functional engineering unit to the region, and 140 members have arrived, said Liu, adding that the remaining 175 were preparing to go there soon.

China provided Sudan with humanitarian assistance of about 11 million US dollars last year, and will provide another 90 million US dollars in soft loans, Liu noted.

Liu stressed that solving the Darfur issue required a concerted efforts of all parties concerned.

First, the Sudanese government should cooperate better with the international community, and show more flexibility in some technical issues.

Secondly, those rebel groups in the Darfur region should return to the negotiation table.

Thirdly, the international community, including some Western nations, should exert their influence over relevant parties.

At last, Liu urged that the United Nations and the African Union – the other two important players of a tripartite mechanism that also includes Sudan – should increase consultations with the Sudanese government in some related issues.

Liu said the international community should make consistent efforts toward a final settlement of the Darfur issue.

Liu has recently ended his four-day visit to Sudan, the fourth since his appointment last May.

(Xinhua News Agency March 8, 2008)

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