Evangelicals Urge President Bush to End Darfur Genocide Ahead of China Meeting


Evangelicals are calling on President Bush to take a “historic opportunity to rehabilitate his human rights credentials” by confronting Chinese President Hu Jintao about his country’s role in ending the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

“President Bush should make clear during his visit it is in China’s best interest to see a stable and secure Sudan, which cannot exist until Darfur is stabilized and the killing is stopped,” a letter signed by Richard Cizik, Vice President for Governmental Affairs within the National Association of Evangelicals, stated.

China is the largest customer for Sudan’s oil and is one of its largest suppliers of arms. Such economic partnerships place China at a unique advantage to press the Sudanese government for real action.

“We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian and human rights tragedy in Darfur. We call upon all governments to seek to bring an end to this deteriorating situation,” Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, said ahead of President Bush’s meeting with President Jintao on Saturday. “In particular, China as a major investor and trade partner with Sudan, needs to use its influence to help end the genocide. “

To date, the Sudanese government and its paramilitary allies have killed at least 180,000 people, driven 2.5 million from their homes, and left 3.5 million without food. China has not helped end this massacre even as the Sudanese government’s role in the genocide became more obvious. Instead, China has remained as Sudan’s “staunches ally and chief protector,” working to weaken already moderate resolutions by the United Nations Security Council to disarm the militia.

“It is therefore vital that the U.S. and the international community explore every avenue available to end the violence in Darfur by engaging China. Beijing’s recent involvement in the multilateral talks with North Korea signal a willingness to become more engaged in influencing other nations’ policies,” the letter stated.

“We hope President Bush seizes this opportunity to engage China on this issue and make ending the genocide in Darfur a priority for his administration.”

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