China, Sudan Discuss Oil Dispute
With the recent disputes between Sudan and South Sudan, China has expressed concerns about maintaining their investments with Sudan and building new ties with South Sudan. Last week, South Sudan expelled a Chinese oil executive following a dispute with Sudan. Sudan’s foreign minister and Chinese leaders have met to discuss the disputes. The Voice of America reports:
Sudan Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing, asking China for help negotiating oil transport fees with newly independent South Sudan.
An agreement that would require oil-rich South Sudan to pay fees to transport its oil through the north broke down after Khartoum began confiscating oil from the South.
In response, South Sudan cut its oil supplies to the north. Karti asked Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping for help in mediating the dispute.
South Sudan became independent last year, under a 2005 peace deal. The split left most of the oil fields in South Sudan and the north in control of the pipelines for export.
China is the biggest oil investor for both countries, and vice president Xi Jinping has expressed his hope that Sudan and South Sudan would resolve their differences. Xinhua adds:
Xi said differences between Sudan and South Sudan have recently led to disputes, drawing attention from the international community and raising China’s concerns.
China hopes the two countries can remain patient and maintain communication, keeping in mind their fundamental interests and the overall regional situation, Xi said.
Xi said he hopes Sudan will take concrete measures to ensure the safety of Chinese organizations and personnel in Sudan, to which Karti replied that the country will take all necessary measures to protect the safety of Chinese nationals.
China and Sudan have treated each other sincerely since forging diplomatic ties, Xi said, adding that both countries have maintained frequent high-level contacts, increased political trust and made fruitful achievements in multiple areas.