August 25, 2012 (JUBA) - China has reiterated its commitment to supporting a negotiated settlement as the "best alternative" to resolving post secession disputes between Sudan and South Sudan nations.
The visiting top level Chinese special envoy on African Affairs, Zhong Jianhua, made the remark after a meeting with the President Salva Kiir Mayardit in his Juba office on Friday.
Jianhua told reporters he was tasked by the Chinese president to renew Beijing’s commitment to boost bilateral relations with Juba .
The diplomat explained that the policy of his government includes strengthening the bilateral ties with the new nation in areas of interest notably: capacity building, infrastructure projects and enhancing delivery of basic services.
"China’s relation with South Sudan is growing very well and China wants to translate this friendly relation to economic growth and prosperity by investing in agricultural sector in South Sudan so that the country becomes self-reliant by producing more food for consumption and export," he said.
He further pointed out that his country looks forward to establishing and developing a long-term, strong, stable, friendly and cooperative relationship with South Sudan on the basis of principles of mutual respect and peaceful cooperation.
Jianhua equally assured China’s support to the efforts conducted by African Union High Implementation Panel’s (AUHIP) under the chairmanship of former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki to resolve the outstanding issues between the two neighbouring countries.
He expressed optimism that differences between two nations will be resolved.
Before meeting President Kiir, the Chinese envoy held talks with senior government including deputy foreign affairs, Minister Grace Datiro.
Datiro in her briefing to the media said she informed Jianhua of her country’s position on outstanding issues with the Republic of Sudan.
"And as you know, the never changing principle strategic position of this country is to build free and peaceful State, making mutual relationships by identifying and respecting national sovereignty of our neighbouring countries including Republic of Sudan is the chief objective," Datiro said.
The deputy minister explained that her country is committed to promoting peaceful relations so that citizens of the two countries live in two viable states.
“This is why our leadership accepted the road map proposed by the African Union and endorsed by UN Security Council”, she said explaining that her country resumed negotiations with Khartoum without any preconditions.
She, however, stated that Juba prefers to resort to the international arbitration to demarcate the borders and resolve disagreements on the disputed areas.
The deputy minister also expressed South Sudan’s readiness to sign the security agreement proposed by the African Union (AU) and deployment of troops along the border between the two countries.
The South Sudanese diplomat further noted the importance of peaceful settlement between Khartoum and the rebel groups in the two areas of Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and Darfur as well as finding lasting settlement to Abyei conflict.