Competing claims to the oil-rich Heglig region have increased tensions between Sudan and South Sudan to dangerous levels, with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir declaring war to South Sudan on April 18.
Bashir vowed to topple the government of South Sudan. However, an all-out war between the two countries would destroy their economies and ruin the hard-earned peaceful lives of the people of both countries.
South Sudan is an oil-rich, landlocked state. It requires the cooperation of Sudan to transport its oil. The economies of the two countries are so closely related that a fair distribution of interests concerns the core interests and economic development of both sides. Dialogue rather than war is the only right solution to their conflict.
China has considerable interests in both countries, and maintains balanced relations with the two countries. China has carried out friendly cooperation with Sudan in various fields for a long time, and helped it become one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa.
China has provided substantial humanitarian assistance to Sudan, which has been transferred into tangible benefits for local people. China established diplomatic ties with South Sudan the day it officially declared independence, and has actively participated in the country’s post-war reconstruction. China has helped build houses, hydropower stations, and roads in the war-torn country, and provided urgently needed medical facilities and other timely assistance to the South Sudanese people.
China is paying close attention to the fundamental interests of all Sudanese people and the peace in the region when the two countries are on the verge of another war. China consistently supports the African Union’s efforts to mediate between the two countries.
China hopes that Sudan and South Sudan will end their conflict immediately, respect each other’s sovereignty and take the overall situation and their long-term interests into consideration. Both countries should keep calm, exercise restraint, build up mutual trust, actively cooperate with international mediation efforts, return to the negotiating table as soon as possible, and restore peace and stability along their shared border.