Last Monday, the Hague-based ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has asked the court to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir.
As the indictment involves too much discussion about international law, it might be more suitable to first probe what kind of consequences it will bring.
There can be little doubt that the human rights of the people – in the Darfur region, in this case – should be respected and protected at first, as the humanitarian spirit takes top priority.
However, human rights are not abstract but should be specifically reflected in cases and enjoyed by people. So the first important step is to satisfy people's basic needs for residence and food and keep them safe from threats, without which discussions of anything else would be meaningless.
In doing so, we should focus on offering constructive efforts to help restore peace in the Darfur region so that lives of people there would no longer be threatened by war. Therefore, the ICC's indictment is like to take us nowhere but to the opposite direction at a time when the situation there has in fact been improving.
By contrast, China's proposals and actions in dealing with the issue, both diplomatic and non-diplomatic ones, conform to principles of morality. The country's principles-based stance has been reflected on aspects as the following:
First, diplomatic persuasion. Patient persuasion, rather than exerting pressure, has always been exemplifying China's diplomatic style.
China has done much work in persuading the Sudanese government in recent years. The following are two examples: in early November, 2006 when the Sino-African Cooperative Forum was held in Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao said to visiting Sudanese President al-Bashir that the Darfur issue has become critical in the wake of the adoption of Resolution 1706 by the United Nations Security Council, and that China hopes Sudan can strengthen dialogue and consultation with all sides to stabilize the regional situation and improve humanitarian conditions. Al-Bashir finally accepted the stationing of a joint force from the African Union (AU) and the UN peacekeeping force in the Darfur region.
And in February last year, Hu suggested four principles in solving the issue while visiting Sudan during his trip to several African countries: respect for Sudan's sovereignty and territory integrity; dialogue, equal consultation and peaceful means in solving the problems; constructive roles taken by the African Union and the UN; stability of the local situation and improvements in living conditions for local people.