Home | News    Thursday 30 March 2006

Sudanese Defence minister visits China

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Mar 30, 2006 (BEIJING) — Sudanese Defence Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein started one week visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, the Chinese Xinhua reported today.

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Abdelrahim M. Hussein

Hussein arrived in Beijing on Thursday afternoon for an eight-day visit to China from March 30 to April 6, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan.

China has become the first supplier to Sudan in armament. Many Sudanese military delegations visited China last year.

On 22 December 2005, the Commander of the Sudanese Air Force Mohamed Abdelgadir met Liang Guanglie, chief of general staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Mohamed Ismail, deputy chief of general staff of the Sudanese armed forces had visited China at the end of November 2005. He met the Vice-Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Xu Caihou.

The Washington-based Jamestown Foundation earlier in December 205 said in a report that China has become the fifth largest arms supplier to the African continent. The report, entitled " Beijing’s Arms and Oil Interests in Africa," asserted that China has sold fighter-jets and helicopters to Khartoum.

Sudan’s air force recently bought $100 million worth of Shenyang fighter planes, including a dozen supersonic F-7 jets, and also purchased 34 other fighter-bombers from Beijing.

China appreciates the Sudanese government’s consistent adherence to the one-China policy, Chinese official repeat.

Chinese oil companies have become big stakeholders in Sudan’s oil and natural gas fields. The state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. owns 40 percent of Sudan’s largest oil field.

"China rarely attaches any political strings to its assistance to Africa," said Jamestown Foundation report.

Washington has questioned Beijing’s ties with Sudan. "It is important for China to recognize that in their policies with countries like Sudan, Burma (Myanmar), Iran, while they may be driven by more narrow energy interests, they are being perceived in the US and elsewhere as having a larger foreign policy effect," Zoellick was quoted as saying by the Financial Times on 8 September 2005.

The Chinese and Russian governments have been allowing the sale of military equipment to the Sudanese government, according to an Amnesty International report published 16 November 2004.

The Russians and Chinese from their permanent seats on the Security Council have constantly opposed moves by other members to impose sanctions or an arms embargo on Sudan.

China has sold fighter jets and helicopters to Sudan since the 1990s, while Russia sent 12 MiG jet fighters to Sudan in July 2004.

(ST)

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