May 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Chinese envoy for Africa Zhong Jianhua urged Sudan and South Sudan to reach a peaceful agreement over outstanding issues and expressed China’s readiness to work closely with the two neighbours to settle their disputes.
- Zhong Jianhua, China’s special representative for African Affairs (Reuters)
The Chinese envoy arrived in Khartoum Sunday from Addis Ababa where he discussed with Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission the support Beijing can offer to the AU mechanism chaired by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki who mediates between Sudan and South Sudan.
Ping stressed that China with its good relations with Sudan and South Sudan, is in a "unique position to play a constructive role in the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis between both states".
In Khartoum Zhong met with Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti and the state minister for foreign affairs Salah Al-Deen Wansi. The talks between the two sides focused on the military clashes between the two countries over Heglig and the upcoming talks over the pending issues.
UN Security Council endorsed an Afriacn Union road map calling the two countries to resume bilateral talks within two weeks and to conclude an agreements over disputes within three months.
The diplomat told the Sudanese official that China considers Sudan and South Sudan as neighbor states should seek to resolve their differences at the negotiating table instead of war. He also pointed out Beijing willingness to cooperate with the parties in order to reach a peaceful solution.
Zhong also pledged that China will contribute in the process of construction and development in both Sudan and South Sudan.
China which has considerable investments in both countries is urged by the international community to use its influence to reconcile the two countries. Washington which played an important role in process that led to the 2005 peace agreement has bad relations with Khartoum and perceived as an ally to Juba.
However, China did not show any enthusiasm to get involved besides the African mediation because Beijing fears to be suspected of siding with one party against the other.
During his meeting with Karti, the Chinese envoy handed him an invitation to attend the Arab-Chinese Conference to be held in Tunis at the end of this month . The two ministers are to meet on the sidelines of the meeting.