In an interview with BBC, Prescott expressed his worry about the West and China going back to the Cold War. Currently, China must prepare for a public relations nightmare in regards to the Olympic Games. China has tried to keep the games and politics separate from each other.
Recently, award winning Hollywood director Steven Spielberg had resigned from his position as one of the creative advisers for the 2008 Olympics. In his statement of resignation, Spielberg said that he resigned was to give a message to China that it was not doing enough to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
In the previous year during CNN’s Democratic Debate, New Mexico Governor and former US Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson had noted when asked abut Darfur that China is Sudan’s biggest customer in buying oil. He said that China has control of Sudan’s economy as a result. Richardson had given the suggestion that the United States threaten to boycott the Olympics to give a clear message and to put pressure on China’s government.
“China on its own cannot solve Sudan,” Prescott said in the interview. He did say that China is playing a part in the United Nations. He said that it was important to engage in China on finding solutions to such issues like Darfur.
“Yes, let’s be critical, let’s keep pressuring [and asking] why aren’t you doing more,” Prescott said. He adds: “I always discuss human rights with the Chinese.”
As the Deputy Prime Minister, he would be in charge of promoting bridges between Britain and China as the head of Britain’s China Taskforce.
Pro-Tibet independence and other groups are planning to stage protests at various points of the torch relay which is set to take place in April.
However, China defended its actions in the region.
A spokesman with China’s foreign ministry said: “China is also concerned about the humanitarian situation in Darfur. [But] empty rhetoric will not help. We hope that relevant people will be more pragmatic.”
Prescott said that it was important for Britain to maintain good relations with China.