The Chinese government has condemned efforts to link the Beijing Olympics with the violence in Darfur as "irresponsible and unfair".
The statement, issued by the Chinese embassy in Washington, came as Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief, joined calls for China to do more to put pressure on Sudan.
It also came as US film-maker Steven Spielberg severed his links with the Games over China's ties to Sudan's government, accused of mass killings in its Darfur region.
"As the Darfur issue is not an internal affair of China, nor was it caused by China, to link the two together is utterly unreasonable, irresponsible and unfair," said the statement published in Thursday's Global Times, run by the Communist party's People's Daily....
"The vast majority of Chinese people have expressed bafflement and outrage at the Western pressure. In their view, it's absolutely absurd to place the Darfur issue, so many thousands of miles away, on the head of China."
The people of China--that bastion of free political speech--have spoken and, surprisingly, expressed exactly the same outrage as that felt by senior government officials. Wow, that one was unexpected.
Yeah, poor helpless misunderstood China:
Chinese sales of assault rifles and other weapons to Sudan have grown rapidly during the conflict in the western Darfur region despite a UN arms embargo, according to a US-based rights group.
Human Rights First said on Thursday that a study of Sudanese and UN trade data showed that China was virtually the only supplier of small arms to Sudan.
Khartoum pays for the weapons it buys from Beijing with its growing oil revenues, the rights group said.
For those who have a problem distinguishing totalitarian governments from authoritarian corporations, this might be a good starting place.