China has formally recognized the world’s newest nation, South Sudan. From Xinhua:
In a message sent to his South Sudanese counterpart Deng Alor Kuol, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said China would recognize South Sudan from Saturday and was willing to establish diplomatic relations with it, according to a foreign ministry statement.
The Chinese government would like to develop friendly cooperation in various areas with South Sudan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the statement said.
China’s diplomatic policy of befriending leaders on both sides has gotten a mixed response from the U.S. and other critics of Sudan’s President al-Bashir. From AFP:
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir enjoyed a red-carpet welcome this week in China, outraging human rights groups as he is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes in the Darfur region.
Princeton Lyman, the US special envoy on Sudan, repeated that the United States opposed foreign travel by Bashir but credited China’s message on south Sudan, which is set to become independent on July 9 after decades of bloodshed.
“We have every indication that their message to President Bashir has been, ‘Look, you’ve got to resolve the issues of the CPA,'” Lyman said, referring to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which set the stage for southern independence.
“‘We want to see peace between the two. We’ll be with you and we’ll be with the south,'” Lyman said of the Chinese communication with Bashir. “And that’s the right message, and so that’s helpful in itself.”