Chinese minister says 2008 boycott attempts will fail

AP , BEIJING

Fri, Apr 13, 2007 - Page 1

A high-ranking Chinese foreign ministry official says any attempt to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics will fail, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

French presidential candidate Francois Bayrou and US actress Mia Farrow have each called for a boycott, hoping to pressure China to do more stop the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.

"I heard that some people are saying they would boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to protest China's policy over Darfur," said Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun (翟俊) on Wednesday following a four-day visit to Sudan.

"They are either ignorant or ill-natured," he added.

`Contrary'

"These people's remarks run contrary to the spirit of the Olympics and work against the will of the people of the world," he said.

China, which buys two-thirds of Sudan's oil and sells it weapons and military aircraft, has opposed sanctions against Sudan.

However, the Chinese government has urged Sudan to accept the deployment of UN-backed international peacekeepers for Darfur.

Earlier this month in an editorial that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Farrow wrote: "There is now one thing that China may hold more dear than their unfettered access to Sudanese oil: their successful staging of the 2008 Summer Olympics."

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