Darfur, China and the 2008 Olympics

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As Simon wrote below, between now and and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, one of the most interesting spectator sports is going to be how the world tries to muscle in and influence Chinese policies that some find objectionable (Tibet, Darfur, environmental degradation etc etc)–and China’s efforts to deflect that pressure. This has already started in a big way, ie Beijing naming the special envoy to Darfur.
On Darfur specifically, I’ve had talks in Washington with senior US government officials who believe China genuinely wants to pressure the Sudan government and get a robust (ie more than the 3000 AU troops Khartoum has agreed to) peace keeping force in there. I’ve also talked to various others, including human rights types, who think that’s a crock, that China just wants to apply a little PR salve to this wound in order to lower its profile pre Olympics, and keep pumping the oil. Not sure who’s right. Let’s hear from both sides out there in the Blogosphere…