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China expresses willingness to boost cooperation with southern Sudan, promises further aid

BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday expressed its willingness to develop friendly exchanges and expand mutually beneficial cooperation with southern Sudan.

"China is ready to promote its friendly exchanges with southern Sudan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence," said Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in a meeting with David Deng Athorbei, envoy of the president of the southern Sudan government, in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.

China will continue to provide aid for the construction and development of southern Sudan, Xi noted.

Southern Sudan is to announce its independence on July 9 this year. An overwhelming majority of people in southern Sudan opted for the separation of the region from north Sudan in a referendum held in January 2011.

"China has firmly supported the south-north peace process in Sudan, and hopes the two sides will resolve existing disputes through dialogue and consultation," Xi was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry after the meeting.

"China is ready to play a constructive role in realizing long-term peace, stability and development in the southern and northern parts of Sudan and the surrounding region," Xi said.

Athorbei, who is also minister of finance and economic planning of the southern Sudan government, expressed appreciation of China's long-term aid for the economic and social development in southern Sudan as well as China's efforts in promoting the south-north peace process in Sudan.

Southern Sudan pays high attention to China's position and role, Athorbei said, adding that after its founding, the nation will unswervingly uphold the one-China policy, further develop friendly relations with China, and deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

On behalf of Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the southern Sudan government, Athorbei passed on an invitation to Chinese President Hu Jintao for the region's independence day celebration.

"The independence and founding of the country is a big event for southern Sudan, and the Chinese people want to rejoice with them," Xi said in his greeting remark to Athorbei.

Also on Friday, senior Chinese leader Zhou Yongkang met a delegation from Sudan's ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

The delegation brought a message from Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who wishes to further promote friendly relations between Sudan and China, as well as ties between their ruling parties.


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