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China pledges continued support to South Sudanese interests in international arenas

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2018. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
August 31, 2018 (JUBA) - Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to support South Sudan economically and to defend its interest before the international community.

President Jinping made his pledge during a meeting on Friday with the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir who is in Beijing to participate in the annual gathering between Chinese and African leaders.

"China will always consider it a priority to help South Sudan to realize national stability and development", said President Xi Jinping during his meeting with President Kiir according to the China Daily independent news outlet.

He further stressed that his government "will safeguard the legitimate interests of South Sudan in multilateral forums such as the United Nations", and continue to offer its support for the South Sudan mediation mechanism in African regional organizations.

Pointing the Belt and Road Initiative which aims to enhance trade with Africa, Asia and Europe, the Chinese leader said Beijing is willing to strengthen cooperation with Juba in areas of infrastructure and agriculture and encourages Chinese enterprises to become more involved in the economic and social construction of South Sudan.

China and South Sudan have strong trade relations as the Chinese companies are heavily involved in South Sudan’s oil production. Also, Beijing supplies Juba with weapons and ammunition.

Last July, after rejecting several times, an arms embargo on South Sudan China and Russia abstained from using the veto and allowed the Security Council to impose the ban. However, it received the new South Sudan’s army chief of staff despite being blacklisted by the United Nations committee of sanctions.

For his part, President Kiir hailed the Chinese diplomacy and treating all countries on an equal basis, and its support for the South Sudan in the international arena. he also commended the economic support provided to the various development projects in South Sudan.

"South Sudan is willing to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with China in areas such as political exchanges and energy, and have closer communication and coordination in international and regional affairs," Kiir further said.

The visiting president further thanked the Chinese government for supporting the peace process which is culminating in the Sudanese capital Khartoum saying his government is determined to implement it and to bring stability after five years of civil war.

At the end of the meeting, the two countries signed two financial and economic memorandums of understanding within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Also, President Kiir was received by the Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan who discussed with him the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

Qishan further expressed Beijing willingness to "work with South Sudan to explore new areas of cooperation, and advance their (...) relations towards all-dimensional, multi-level and wide-ranging orientation".