KHARTOUM, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — China-Sudan ties have presented a model for South-South cooperation for 58 years since their establishment, during which the two sides have expressed keenness to enhance their ties and create new impetus to strengthen economic cooperation.
Sudan is grateful to China for providing it with valued assistance as a strategic partner when Sudan was under complete economic siege. The Sudanese government is looking forward to Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli’s upcoming visit to Khartoum on Aug. 25.
The exchange of visits by officials from both sides and the establishment of joint projects remain tried-and-true means for boosting historical ties, strengthening common denominators and deepening mutual respect.
“Our relationship with China is historical, deeply-rooted and strategic. This is a model relationship that we hope will continue and shift to wider horizons,” said Awad Ahmed al-Jaz, Sudanese presidential assistant and official in charge of maintaining China-Sudan relations.
There are geological studies indicating that Sudan owns great reserves of oil and gas in many areas of the country. He said Sudan has now become an inspiring model for the oil industry, and the country is currently preparing for China-Sudan cooperation in the agricultural field.
He also said the two countries have a lot of cooperation potential, adding, for example, that Sudan boasts huge agricultural, mineral and animal resources, as well as a food industry. The partnership between Sudan and China in these fields can achieve great success, the Sudanese official said.
Al-Jaz also expressed optimism over the possibility that the Belt and Road Initiative would add a new momentum to the relationship between Sudan and China as Sudan represents a link between the African continent and the Arab region.
He regarded the upcoming visit of Chinese Vice Premier Zhang as an indication of the continuing development of ties between Sudan and China, as well as of further enhanced bilateral cooperation in different fields.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ali Yousif, executive director of the Arab-Chinese Friendship Societies’ League, an affiliate of the Arab League based in Sudan, said China represents Sudan’s most important external partner.
“China is the most important partner in Sudan’s external relations, and even if the United States lifted its sanctions on Sudan, this will not change the fact that China is the most important economic partner for Sudan,” he said.
“We have a great model indicating the benefit of this relationship and I mean the Sudanese oil project which has achieved a great benefit for Sudan by providing its economy with huge resources. The Chinese side has also benefited from this project,” he said.
Bushra Al-Sheikh Dafalla, a Sudanese political analyst and diplomat, told Xinhua that the partnership between Sudan and China has achieved many benefits and contributed to the establishment of great development projects in Sudan.
He expressed the hope that China would continue its support for Sudan to establish more development projects, saying “Sudan needs more support now in the field of infrastructure, namely railway lines.”
“Sudan can utilize its geographical location, according to the Belt and Road Initiative, where China can establish land transport lines linking the Mediterranean Sea until Cape Town, and also linking the entire Africa across Sudan,” he said.
The diplomatic ties between Sudan and China were established in 1959,followed by the first protocol for commercial exchange between the two countries signed in 1962.
China is Sudan’s largest trade partner, and Sudan, in turn, ranks third among China’s African economic partners.