February 14, 2008 / 7:28 AM / in 10 years

China "regrets" Spielberg's Darfur decision

BEIJING (Reuters) - China expressed regret on Thursday over the decision by movie director Steven Spielberg to quit as an artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics because of its policies in war-torn Sudan.

Steven Spielberg speaks during a news conference announcing the creation team for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in this April 16, 2006 file photo. Spielberg withdrew on February 12, 2008 as an artistic adviser to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing over China's policy on the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. REUTERS/China Daily/Files

“We express regret,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference.

The Hollywood director said he pulled out because China was doing too little to help halt the bloodshed in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, where Khartoum-linked militia have battled rebel groups.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Lindsay Beck

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