- The Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir today used his trip to China to hold discussion with the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The discussion came on the heels of the Beijing Forum on Africa-China Cooperation, which among others, aims to strengthen its relations between China and Africa. The Chinese Premier said China is enjoying stable relationship with Sudan. Bilateral trade between the two countries was over US$ 3.9 billion in 2005.
It was forty-seven years ago that the two countries forged diplomatic relations and the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, met President El-Bashir only last year.
The Chinese Premier today said China-Sudan relations were premised on "equality, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other's internal affairs" and that the two were broadening their areas of cooperation. "Chinese companies doing businesses in Sudan have provided constant assistance to the poor people in Sudan, a move that is welcomed by the locals," the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, quoted Mr Wen as saying.
But the deepening ties between Beijing and Khartoum are deeply controversial. With Sudan turning a deaf ear to UN resolutions concerning its treatment of the Darfur crisis, the world now turns to China as the last resort.
China maintains that it is also concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Its Premier said China had provided humanitarian aid to the Sudanese government. "China supports the UN resolution on the issue, insisting on settling the issue through peaceful means," he said.
He added that it is the wish of China that Sudan strengthen its cooperation with the international community on the Darfur issue, sincerely implement the UN resolution and realise comprehensive peace and stability in Darfur.
President El-Bashir also said his country's bilateral relations with China were developing smoothly because the two have recorded success.
Chinese companies are known to be leading in exploring oil in Sudan and according to Mr El-Bashir, Sudan was now to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of energy, power and transportation.
Mr El-Bashir also briefed the Sudanese Premier on his government's peace process package, which includes nailing the Darfur crisis.
At a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao's maintained that his country holds that UN should play a positive role in the Darfur crisis. He however said the consent of the Sudanese government needs to be obtained on specific measures to be taken, thus revoking a current UN resolution saying this was not necessary regarding deployment of UN peacekeepers in Darfur.
Mr Jianchao said his country did not invite "indiscreet remarks" from any organisation concerning its policy to Africa. "China-Africa cooperation is for the well-being of both peoples. At the same time, it is our principle for state-to-state relations that we do not impose our ideology, social system and developmental model on any other country," he pointed out, believing that African governments had the wisdom and rights to choose correct path for their development.
The spokesman further said the China-Africa cooperation had won support and acclamation of both Chinese and Africans in all fields. "What impresses us in our recent contact with leaders of African countries is that governments and peoples there are all earnestly looking forward to further development of the cooperation between China and Africa, and that relations between them could continue to grow on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, mutual respect and trust."
Mr Jianchao denied that Chinese economic and trade cooperation was premised on a hidden agenda. Rather, he said, China's bilateral with Africa was beneficial peoples of both Africa and China. "The assistance we provide all aim at promoting the economy and people's livelihood in these countries, including infrastructure construction, medical care, public health, education, agriculture and other fields."
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