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  • » 02/21/2008, 00.00

    CHINA

    According to Beijing Spielberg is “naïve” and lacking in “common sense”



    Controversy with filmmaker continues after he pulled out of the Olympics in protest against Chinese policy towards Darfur. Government defends its action, concerned that international criticism might grow.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China is fuelling the controversy over movie director Steven Spielberg’s resignation as an artistic director to the Beijing Olympic Games over Beijing’s inadequate response to the Darfur crisis.

    An editorial article in the overseas edition of the People's Daily newspaper yesterday called his actions “naïve” that “defied common sense”. It went on to say Western media were being “childish and ridiculous.”

    “The Darfur problem was not created by China and is not in any way related to China's policies in Africa,” said the editorial. “Linking the Darfur problem,” where genocide has already killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million people since 2003, “to the Beijing Olympics is unfair.”

    It said those who use the issue to criticise China “only acted for their own interest” and were using western standards to judge other countries' policies.

    It was confirmed that special envoy Liu Guijin would return to the war-torn African region this month.

    During a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown two days ago, Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that Beijing wanted to see stability and peace restored in Darfur.

    Human rights activists and organisations chide Beijing for its continued trade with Sudan, for selling weapons to its government which is being boycotted by Western countries for its role in the genocide, and for preventing international sanctions. They believe that Beijing could exert great influence on Khartoum and get greater concessions in favour of the suffering population.

    Meanwhile International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said that he held “much respect for Spielberg's decision” but that politics and sport should not mix.

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    See also

    14/02/2008 CHINA
    State media claim Chinese “disgusted” by Spielberg’s boycott
    For the Chinese Embassy in Washington, tying China to the Darfur issue is “unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair.” IOC President Jacques Rogge signs Nobel Prize laureates’ appeal in favour of Darfur. Chinese activists call for greater respect for human rights at home.

    15/02/2008 CHINA
    For Beijing Spielberg not considering China’s “positive role” in Sudan
    In its first official response, Beijing states that the filmmaker’s pullout was “regrettable,” claiming that it is playing a positive role in Sudan. US President Bush confirms that he will attend the Olympics. British paper retracts article saying that IOC boss Rogge signed a letter critical of China.

    11/04/2008 CINA – UNITED NATIONS – TIBET
    Ban Ki-moon staying away from Olympic Opening Ceremony
    The European Union and the United States are urging dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Kenya’s Nobel Prize laureate Wangari Maathai refuses to carry the Olympic torch. Non violent protests are expected in Buenos Aires. China tells Rogge it will not discuss human rights.

    26/02/2008 CHINA - SUDAN
    Beijing censures Khartoum on the use of peace forces in Darfur
    Unusual criticism from China during a diplomatic mission to Sudan. Beijing confirms its solidarity with the population living in Darfur, and calls the Sudanese government to employ international peacekeeping forces.

    01/08/2008 CHINA
    Beijing, partial u-turn on internet censorship
    As of yesterday some sites are accessible. Among these the BBC, Wikipedia and Amnesty International. But the liberalisation is valid only for the Olympic village and its press centre. The foreign press association demands transparency from the International Olympics Committee, accused of connivance with Chinese censors. Hu Jintao: Do not politicise the Olympics.



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    VATICAN
    Pope tells young people to remember the past, to have courage in the present and hope for the future



    The Message for the 32nd World Youth Day was issued today centred on “The ‘great things’ that the Almighty accomplished’.” In her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary becomes a model. The pontiff calls on young people to avoid being couch potatoes, safe and cosy, urges them to rediscover the relationship with seniors. The Church experience is not a flash mob. The future should be experienced in a constructive way, and “the institutions of marriage, consecrated life and priestly mission” should not be devalued.


    AFGHANISTAN
    Fr. Moretti: The Little Sisters of Jesus, for 60 years " Afghan among Afghans"



    They have lived for 60 years at the service of the needy. They remained in Kabul under Soviet occupation, the Taliban control and the NATO bombing. Respected by all, even by the Taliban. This February their experience will end, according to Fr. Moretti "an example for us all."


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