Sudan to get $88 million in loans and grants from China
Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir arrived in Beijing on Saturday, to participate in the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) which began in the Chinese capital today. On Sunday, Al Bashir met with China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, which secured a pledge for a CNY 400 million ($58 million) grant and a CNY 200 million ($30 million) interest-free loan.
According to reports by the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) and ChinaDaily.com.cn, Xi highly appreciated Al Bashir’s deep friendship with China, which is Sudan’s largest foreign trading partner, and his important contributions to advancing China-Sudan relations.
Calling Sudan an influential country in Africa and the Arab world, Xi said China firmly supports Sudan’s efforts to safeguard sovereignty, security and stability and opposes foreign interference in Sudan’s internal affairs.
Pragmatic cooperation between China and Sudan has played an important part in promoting the economic development of both countries and stands as a fine example of South-South cooperation, Xi said.
China welcomes Sudan’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and would like to take the opportunity to boost energy cooperation between the two countries and create a new mode of agricultural cooperation covering the entire industrial chain, Xi said.
China commends Al Bashir’s active engagement in pushing the signing of a comprehensive peace deal by all parties in South Sudan and is willing to work with Sudan to make an active contribution to peace and stability in South Sudan, the Chinese president added.
Hailing the solid mutual political trust and deep traditional friendship between the two countries, Al Bashir spoke highly of China’s great achievements in development and its important role on the international stage.
Belt and Road Initiative
Al Bashir expressed his gratitude for China’s firm support for Sudan’s efforts to safeguard sovereignty, independence, and stability, as well as for Africa’s course of peace and development.
Sudan supports the BRI and the proposal for building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, Al Bashir said.
The Sudanese president also expressed the willingness to enhance pragmatic bilateral cooperation between the two countries and their coordination in global and regional affairs.
After the meeting, the two presidents witnessed the signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation.
Premier Li Keqiang
In a separate meeting with Al Bashir on Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also called to strengthen cooperation under the framework of the BRI.
“China cherishes traditional friendship with Sudan and has regarded the country as its good friend and partner in Africa and Arab world,” Li said. “China supports Sudan in choosing its own path for development and the endeavours by Sudan and South Sudan to maintain peace,” he said.
Li said more potential should be tapped to expand pragmatic cooperation in trade, investment and agriculture, which will make new contributions to social and economic development of both countries.
Bashir said next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Both countries have achieved productive yields in pragmatic cooperation in various fields and have great potential for future cooperation.
The Sudanese president extended gratitude for China’s help in maintaining Sudan’s stability and development and said exchanges between the two countries have further moved forward the South-South cooperation and China-Africa cooperation.
In his speech at the opening of FOCAC today, Xi said China and Africa have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation. Africa’s development has great potential and the continent is full of hope. The China-Africa friendship and cooperation have broad vistas, and China and Africa can forge an even stronger comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, Xi said.
China values sincerity, friendship and equality in pursuing cooperation. Over 1.3 billion Chinese people have partnered with the over 1.2 billion African people in pursuing a shared future, he said.
China takes an open and inclusive approach to cooperation. China stands ready to work with other international partners to support Africa in pursuing peace and development, Xi said. “No one can stand in the way or obstruct international efforts to support Africa’s development.”
China will extend a total of $60 billion of financing to Africa, Xi said.
The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies, Xi said.
SUNA reports that on Sunday, Al Bashir received the presidents of three Chinese companies separately at his residence in Beijing and affirmed Sudan’s welcome to the Chinese companies to invest in the country, assuring the keenness to provide these companies with all privileges, facilities and protection.
He said that Sudan is bestowed with enormous resources and potential and needs more investment in agriculture, livestock, oil and gas, infrastructures and ports.
He indicated that Sudan was one of the first countries to receive Chinese companies and represents its gateway to Africa. Stressing that ample opportunities are available for the Chinese companies to work in Sudan.
President Al Bashir said that Sudan looks forward for more investments to contribute to development of its infrastructures.
The three presidents of the Chinese companies were the chairman of the board of directors of China Ports engineering Company which has executed a number of projects in Sudan and signed agreement with GIAD Company for development of the Red Sea economic zone, Chairman of the board of directors of the Chinese Poly Company which is operating in the fields of ships and roads and the president China Railways Company (Section 16), which signed on Sunday a memo of understanding for establishing Port-Sudan – Ndjamena railway line at the length of 3,200 kilometres.
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