China has expressed concern about the decision to seek an arrest
warrant in the International Criminal Court for Sudan's president.
China also has denied a BBC report that said it violated a U.N. arms
embargo against Sudan. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.
at the International Criminal Court have charged Sudan President Omar
al-Bashir with genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes for
his government's actions in Sudan's Darfur region. They have asked the
court for an arrest warrant for him.
China's Foreign Ministry
spokesman Liu Jianchao said Beijing maintains friendly relations with
Sudan and is deeply concerned and worried about the charges.
says the situation in the Darfur region is at a sensitive and critical
moment. He says China hopes all sides can resolve their differences
through consultation and avoid adding complications that could
interfere with or harm the atmosphere of cooperation.
charges against Mr. Bashir are the first against a head of state still
in power. The Sudanese government has denounced the charges and says
it will ignore any arrest warrant.
Mr. Bashir is accused of
supporting Arab militias that have systematically raped and murdered
black Sudanese in Darfur. Fighting in Darfur, involving southern
Sudanese rebels, government troops and the so-called Janjaweed militia,
has claimed more than 300,000 lives since 2003.
China is consulting with other U.N. Security Council members to see if
the court could be blocked from issuing a warrant for Mr. Bashir.
China has been accused of adding to the violence in Darfur with arms sales to the Sudanese government.
BBC report this week said there is evidence that China has been
violating a U.N. arms embargo against Sudan. The report said Beijing
sold Khartoum military trucks and trained Sudanese military pilots.
Liu dismissed the report, saying the BBC had ulterior motives for making the accusation.
says the accusation from the BBC is unfair and incorrect. He says
China has never violated any U.N. Security Council resolution.
is a major investor in Sudan's oil industry and has been under pressure
to use its influence to push Khartoum on peace talks with rebels in the
But China also has won praise for urging Sudan to accept international peacekeepers.