Thursday, 11 August 2011

China on state visit to South Sudan

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi is on a state visit to South Sudan, a first for the newly independent country. Yang met with President Salva Kiir in Juba, to discuss South Sudan's future.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Yang said: “There's a bright future for China and South Sudan and for our relationship. So I wish the Sudanese people every success."

He added: "Our two economies are there for each other and we want to see good co-operation in such areas like agriculture, infrastructure construction, oil production."

Earlier this week, Yang held talks with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir. China has always had strong ties with Sudan's president, despite claims of war crimes in Darfur.

South Sudan's Foreign Minister Deng Alor said Yang's visit would "set in motion a special relationship between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Sudan".

Alor added: “As a newly independent nation we definitely need a country like China to help us in development of our infrastructure, of our agriculture, vocational system and many areas."

Meanwhile, Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti has announced that Sudan has granted China more oil exploration rights, following Yang's meeting with Bashir Monday 8th August.

He said: "President Bashir has granted the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) three promising new petroleum blocs and offered a partnership with the national petroleum company Sudapet in the fields where it operates.”

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.

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