Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Written Interview with Sudanese Press
On 8 August 2011, visiting Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi gave a written interview to Al Akhbar, Al Raed and Sudanese Media Center. The full transcript of the interview is as follows.
Q: How do you view the current relations between China and Sudan?
A: China and Sudan enjoy a deep traditional friendship. Our two countries established diplomatic ties in 1959. After more than half a century's development, we have forged a long-term, stable and broad-based relationship of friendship and cooperation. Our cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, educational, health and other fields has yielded fruitful results. In recent years, with the care and guidance of our leaders, the relationship moved into a fast lane. There have been frequent exchanges of high-level visits and deepening political trust. Fruitful practical cooperation, particularly in the oil sector, has brought tangible benefits to the people of both countries. We are satisfied with the current development of China-Sudan relations and confident about its future.
Q: With the independence of South Sudan, Sudan will see a sharp decline of oil revenue, adding difficulty to its economy. As a friend of Sudan, what measures and policies will China adopt to help Sudan?
A: Sudan is now at a special time in history, the fact of which China fully understands. I want to reiterate that no matter how the regional situation and Sudan's domestic situation may evolve, the policy of the Chinese government to develop friendship and cooperation with Sudan will remain unchanged. We will take the following steps to consolidate and develop our relations. First, we will maintain friendly exchanges at all levels to enhance mutual understanding and political trust. Second, we will expand practical cooperation for mutual benefit and win-win results. We would like to deepen oil cooperation. We will encourage and support more capable and reputable Chinese companies in investing in Sudan and exploring cooperation opportunities in agriculture, mining, energy, water conservancy, power generation, road and bridge construction, communications and other sectors. At the same time, we will continue to provide assistance to Sudan to the best of our capacity. Third, we will strengthen coordination and cooperation in global and regional affairs to safeguard our common interests. We wish to enhance communication and cooperation with Sudan on such major issues as the Security Council reform, climate change and food security to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. We are confident that with the concerted efforts of both sides, our relationship will have an even brighter future.
Q: How does China foresee the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan?
A: As the Chinese saying goes, "A close neighbor is better than a distant relative." Sudan and South Sudan are next-door neighbors. Peace and development in the two countries are closely linked. Peace will benefit both whereas conflict will serve neither's interest. Although South Sudan has become an independent country, there are still many issues crying out for solution, issues that are central to their respective core interests. We hope that both countries will act in the fundamental interests of their peoples and peace and stability of the region, remain committed to peace and properly settle their differences through dialogue and consultation in the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. We hope the two countries will embrace good-neighborly friendship, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and realize common development. China supports the peace process between the North and the South, and will work with the international community to contribute to the sound development of North-South relations and peace and stability in the region.
Q: How do you view the prospect of the Abyei issue?
A: We are pleased to note the recent signing of the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area between Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa. China applauds the dedicated efforts made by the two sides, the African Union and other relevant parties in this connection. We hope that Sudan and South Sudan will stick to the choice of peace and continue to hold negotiations to find a proper and mutually acceptable settlement of their differences. In the recent period, we have had some contacts with both sides to encourage talks. We have also worked actively as a mediator on multilateral occasions. Our contribution to the reduction of tension in the Abyei area was welcomed and praised by all concerned. We will continue to work with the international community and play a constructive role in bringing about a final settlement of the issue.
Q: How does China see the issue of South Kordofan?
A: We have followed closely recent developments in the state of South Kordofan and have worked on the relevant parties to reduce tension. We support the good offices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and call on the relevant parties to exercise calm and restraint, continue to resolve differences through negotiations and bring order and stability back to South Kordofan at an early date.
Q: Mr. Minister, how do you view the issue of Darfur? Do you have any comment on the peace agreement signed recently between the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement in Doha?
A: The issue of Darfur is ultimately an issue of development. Only when poverty is eradicated and development takes off can people of different tribes in Darfur live in peace and harmony－this is the only way in which the issue can be fundamentally resolved. The pressing task now is for the relevant parties to stop acts of hostility, restore tranquility to the region, and create conditions for normal life and work for people in the region. China welcomes the recent signing of the peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement in Doha and commends the unremitting efforts made by the Government of Qatar and other parties in this connection. The signing of the peace agreement is another important outcome in Darfur's political process. It demonstrates the sincerity of the Sudanese government and the party in question to negotiate a political solution. We hope the agreement will be earnestly implemented and we call on other parties in Darfur to join the reconciliation process at an early date. The international community should work even harder to promote peace and provide greater support for the reconstruction of Darfur. China will work with relevant parties to continue to make positive efforts for a proper solution of the Darfur issue.