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Bush Urges China to Use Clout With Sudan on Darfur

U.S. President George Bush says he has discussed the situation in Sudan's troubled Darfur region with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Mr. Bush said in a television interview Monday, with NBC at the Olympics in Beijing that he urged the Chinese president to take advantage of his relationship with the Sudanese president to help solve the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The U.S. president also said he delivered activist Joey Cheek's "Sudanese message" to Chinese officials.

Last week, China revoked the visa of U.S. Olympic speed-skating gold medalist Cheek. He is a co-founder of the activist group Team Darfur, which seeks to raise awareness of the violence in Darfur.

China's support for Sudan has been the source of worldwide criticism ahead of the Olympics.

China is a major investor in Sudan's oil industry and one of its biggest arms suppliers. Chinese officials say weapons sold to Sudan are not to be used in the Darfur conflict.

International experts say more than 200,000 people in Darfur have died and some 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes since local rebel groups rose up against the Sudanese government in 2003.

Sudan says Western governments and the media have exaggerated the scale of the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.