Darfur, U.N. Troops and Beijing: Cause and Effect?

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The China Daily reports that China has welcomed Sudan’s sudden decision to accept a U.N. peace keeping force for the troubled region of Darfur. While it remains to be seen whether this will actually work out (Sudan has said it would agree before only to reneg), I can’t help but wonder about the timing. After all, Sudan
has essentially stonewalled on this for an age. Why the sudden change in attitude? Could it have anything to do with the “Genocide Olympics” campaign that started a couple of weeks ago and calls for a boycott of the 2007 games because of what the campaigners say is Beijing’s coddling of Khartoum and refusal to put pressure on it to end what is seen as Sudan inspired mass murder in Darfur. We know how super-sensitive China is about boycott calls and this is the one issue that actually has the potential to get some traction. All pure speculation of course, but it certainly bears looking in to……