In Brief

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 February, 2008, 12:00am

China envoy to Sudan defends Beijing's efforts

Amid growing global criticism of Beijing's foreign policy on the regime in Khartoum, the Chinese ambassador to Sudan yesterday made a lengthy defence by saying his government had paid 'unremitting efforts' to help resolve the crisis in the western region of Darfur. Li Chengwe told Xinhua that Beijing was 'deeply concerned' about the situation in Darfur and had 'actively' participated in peacekeeping efforts in the region sponsored by the United Nations. Mr Li's statement follows Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg's withdrawal from his role as an artistic adviser of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games over Beijing's controversial policies on Sudan, Xinhua said. In his interview, Mr Li said Beijing maintained 'sound' communication channels with the Sudanese government, holding discussions with the African country on the basis of 'respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity'. 'As is obvious to anyone in the international community that is not biased against China, China has been playing its due part in helping resolve the Darfur crisis,' Mr Li was quoted as saying. Staff Reporter

Campaign on Web porn extended to September

An 'internet purification' campaign that is aimed at clearing obscene pictures, articles and videos from cyberspace in China will last until September, the Ministry of Public Security has said. The latest targets were the internet search engines and weblogs, which had become 'a main channel of pornographic information distribution', said Xinhua quoting the ministry. Editors of online forums and chat rooms would be asked to register their real names for the purposes of better administration, it said. Censors shut down 44,000 websites, removed 440,000 pornographic videos and arrested 868 suspects last year, Xinhua said. Staff Reporter