September 26, 2007 / 6:08 PM / 12 years ago

UK's Brown urges China to help in Myanmar, Darfur

(Expands Brown quote, paragraph 3)

BOURNEMOUTH, England, Sept 26 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged China on Wednesday to be part of a united world response to "injustice" in Myanmar and Darfur while taking aim at Beijing’s policies in Africa.

"China has influence in Darfur and of course China has influence in Burma (Myanmar)," Brown said.

"We want the whole world to work together ... to deal with these problems of unfairness and inequality and injustice ... in either Darfur or in Burma," he told the ruling Labour Party’s annual conference.

China, which has close contacts with Myanmar’s military rulers, has so far refrained from public criticism of a crackdown on protesters there.

However, diplomats say Beijing has spoken privately with the generals to voice international concern.

Brown also said it was not acceptable "for us to stand back and see, as in Darfur or as in other parts of Africa, human rights abuses and not to be able to speak up about it".

Western politicians and rights groups have accused China of abetting bloodshed in Sudan’s Darfur region by maintaining big investments in Sudanese oil, selling Khartoum arms that end up in Darfur, and fending off stronger U.N. Security Council resolutions.

China urged the Sudanese government and other players in Darfur’s crisis last week to "exercise restraint" and avoid greater bloodshed there ahead of peace talks and the arrival of U.N. peacekeepers.

Brown said powerful gold and energy companies operating in Africa were "getting incredibly worried that all the resources they used to have are now being bought up by China".

"China is making it its business to buy up and to control a lot of the physical resources of Africa," Brown said during a question-and-answer session at the conference.

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