A BBC report alleging that China is breaking a UN arms embargo on Sudan is biased, the Chinese special envoy to Darfur said in comments published yesterday.
Envoy Liu Guijin (劉貴今) said China’s arms sales to Sudan were only small scale and that the trade in military equipment was not fuelling the conflict in Darfur, the China Daily newspaper said.
“The program is strongly biased,” Liu said, said the English-language daily, which is often used by the government to deliver messages to a foreign audience.
“China’s arms sales were very small scale and never made to non-sovereign entities. We have strict end-user certificates,” he said.
The BBC broadcast a program on Monday alleging that China was breaking the UN arms embargo by providing military equipment and training pilots to fly Chinese jets.
Citing two confidential sources, the broadcaster said China was training pilots to fly Chinese Fantan fighter jets and that Sudan had imported several fighter trainers called K8s two years ago.
The BBC said it had also found one Dong Feng Chinese army lorry in the hands of a rebel group in Darfur.
It cited independent eyewitness testimony saying the lorry had been captured from Sudanese government forces in December.
“A few shots of Chinese trucks in Darfur cannot be used to accuse China of fuelling the conflict in Darfur,” Liu was quoted as saying.
Liu, citing an unnamed African politician, said the Darfur conflict was continuing because Western countries were providing arms to rebel groups.
The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime and state-backed militias, fighting for resources and power in one of the most remote and deprived places on earth.
The UN has said that 300,000 people have died in Darfur and more than 2.2 million have been displaced since 2003.
The Sudanese government puts the number of fatalities at 10,000.
China is the main buyer of Sudan’s oil and a key investor in its economy.
Two years ago, Qi Jiayao visited his mother’s hometown of Shaoxing in eastern China. When he tried to speak to his cousin’s children in the local dialect, Qi was surprised. “None of them was able to,” said the 38-year-old linguist, who teaches Mandarin in Mexico. The decline in local dialects among the younger generation has become more apparent in recent years as Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has sought to bolster a uniform Chinese identity. Mandarin is now spoken by more than 80 percent of China’s population, up from 70 percent a decade ago. Last month, China’s State Council promised to
France is to relax some COVID-19 restrictions from early next month in a bet that an outbreak of the Omicron variant of SARS-COV-2 would recede thanks to faster inoculations and plans to shut the unvaccinated out of most social activities. The French government is to lift the obligation to work from home at least three days a week from Feb. 2, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday. It would also remove a requirement to wear a mask outdoors, and scrap attendance limits for sports arenas and cultural venues, Castex said. Infections with the Delta variant are “clearly receding,” while the
DEMOGRAPHIC CRISIS: Beijing is attempting to address its population decline, including considering raising the retirement age and allowing more than two children China’s birthrate has fallen to its lowest level in six decades, barely outnumbering deaths last year despite major government efforts to increase population growth and stave off a demographic crisis. Across China, 10.62 million babies were born last year, a rate of 7.52 per thousand people, the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. In the same period 10.14 million deaths were recorded, a mortality rate of 7.18 per thousand, producing a population growth rate of just 0.34 per 1,000 people. The growth rate is the lowest since 1960, and adds to the findings of May last year’s once-per-decade census, which found
‘PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE’: Authorities asked anyone who bought a hamster after Dec. 22 to hand it over after hamsters at a shop tested positive for the Delta variant Hong Kong’s government yesterday faced outrage over its decision to cull hundreds of small animals after hamsters in a store tested positive for COVID-19. Like China, Hong Kong maintains a staunch “zero COVID” policy, stamping out the merest trace of the virus with contact tracing, mass testing, strict quarantines and prolonged social distancing rules. Its latest measures target hamsters and other small mammals — including chinchillas, rabbits and guinea pigs, which authorities on Tuesday said would be culled as a “precautionary measure.” The drastic move came after hamsters sold at the Little Boss pet shop tested positive for the Delta variant of