Thursday, 31 July 2008


China and Russia concluded three years of demarcation work on their 4,300 km Sino-Russian boundary, the longest in the world. In the process, Russia agreed to return to China 174 sq km of territory, consisting of Yinlong Island (Tarabarov Island) and half of Heixiazi Island (Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island), said to be the first place on the mainland to see sunlight. A Chinese official said that China would not station a large military force on the islands.

War Crimes -- Genocide
United Nations

China was outspoken in opposing ICC's indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan for the killing of civilians in the Darfur region. A FM spokesman expressed "grave concern and worry" over ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo's initiation of the indictment. As the Security Council considered the extension of the peacekeeping mandate for Darfur, China's UN ambassador Wang Guangya expressed support for the Security Council suspending ICC's action for one year, calling the indictment "an inappropriate decision made at an inappropriate time.” Meanwhile, China's special envoy for Darfur denied allegations by a BBC documentary that China has violated the UN arms embargo in Darfur.

United Nations
Human Rights

China and Russia vetoed a US-led draft Security Council resolution that would impose sanctions on Zimbabwe for human rights abuses. China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya explained that the situation in Zimbabwe did not constitute a threat to world peace and security and that China considered negotiation to be the best solution. Diplomats believed that China only cast the veto after Russia made it clear that it would veto the resolution.

Reparation for War Crimes

Citing expiry of the statute of limitation and immunity of the state, the Japanese Supreme Court upheld an appellate court's decision to dismiss a demand for compensation by a group of Chinese, who were forced to work as labourers during WWII. The judgment brought to an end a case in which the trial court, the Niigata District Court, ruled in favour of the Chinese plaintiffs and became the first Japanese court to acknowledge Japan's responsibility for wartime forced labour.