A 315 man contingent of engineers from the People’s Liberation Army arrived in Darfur to begin working on road construction and other projects. China at present purchases two-thirds of oil produced by Sudan and also supplies that nation with military weapons. The government of China is under world pressure to cease aiding Sudan and confront problems in Darfur. Chinese leaders were reportedly upset at the open letter sent by Steven Spielberg and Mia Farrow in which they challenged China to take action on the Darfur issue. The concern of Chinese leaders revolves about the 2008 Olympics which has become a critical issue for their nation and there is fear the Darfur issue might spill over into boycott of the games.
China has the power to exert tremendous pressure on Sudan and help the people of Darfur. Ironically, they may begin to take such action due to the Olympic games. The Chinese people believe hosting the 2008 Olympics will finally show the world their nation is now among world leaders. It is rather amazing that some actors and actresses can exert more pressure than political leaders.