The ongoing referendum in southern Sudan is widely expected to end with the African country divided into two. As a result, China's oil companies in Sudan will face uncertainty or even risks.
The continuation of Chinese oil companies' normal business operation depends on whether southern Sudan can preserve stability after the vote. It is not a matter of whether there will be a new government in the south that could become an enemy of China.
Some Western media expect an independent southern Sudan will hold China up to ridicule, but they may be disappointed.
China has been insisting on maintaining its policy of not interfering with Sudan's internal affairs. Some Western countries criticized this policy. But it is this policy that helped China win the trust of the Sudanese.
China does not have an enemy in Africa. Sudan is no exception. China deals with every African country on an equal footing. We do business there, we help build bridges, roads, schools and hospitals.
We are confident that if Sudan stays united, it will be China's friend. If it breaks into two, both governments will still maintain friendly relations with us.
In the past, some of China's allies, including Serbia, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan, experienced political turmoil. But China did not lose any of them.
China advocates a win-win policy in dealing with all countries, as it believes that small win-wins will add up to a big win.
Some Western countries believe political changes in some countries will result in them breaking away from China, or pushing China into the political turmoil. But those critics do not really understand China.
China is not as powerful as the US or many other European countries. But China is doing well in Africa. Its diplomatic practice of respecting local governments' own political paths proves to work better than many Western countries' policies of wishful interference.
China does not want to change Sudan. Instead, we wish Sudan's vote can go well. China is at ease in this case because it sincerely wishes the Sudanese people well. But the West seems to be nervous because they can only accept one result.
At this time of change, we also hope Chinese oil companies take care of their employees and properties in Sudan. They can be assured that their businesses will prosper in the long run, no matter in southern or northern Sudan.