On the afternoon of April 24, 2012, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the Great Hall of the People. Both heads of state agreed to expand and enhance pragmatic cooperation in all areas and advance friendly cooperative ties.
Hu said bilateral relations have had a good start although it hasn't been a long time since the two sides forged diplomatic ties, which feature increased bilateral exchanges at all levels and steady development of cooperation. The Chinese government and people respect South Sudanese people's choice of independence, and support the country's efforts in developing its economy, improving people's livelihood, safeguarding stability and entering the international community, according to Hu. He said bilateral friendly cooperation is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and also beneficial to the development of a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership as well as regional peace and development.
South Sudan appreciates China's swift acknowledgement of the country on the very day of its founding, said Kiir. As a new country, South Sudan still faces many challenges in post-war reconstruction and developing its economy, he said, adding South Sudan hopes to learn from China's success, get rid of poverty and warfare and realize domestic stability and development at an early date.
Hu made a three-point proposal on further developing bilateral friendly cooperation. First, Hu suggested the two countries treat each other on an equal footing and with mutual trust and beef up political relations. China is ready to strengthen dialogue at top and other levels, and enhance cooperation within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Both sides should also maintain communication on major issues of mutual concern. Second, the two countries should expand pragmatic cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, he said, adding China is willing to enhance cooperation in the fields of the economy and trade, energy and infrastructure in the spirit of overall planning, gradualism and effectiveness. China is willing to help South Sudan to translate its advantages of resources into advantages of economic development. Third, he also called on the two nations to promote all-round friendship and advance people-to-people exchanges. Both sides should focus on long-term development of bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation in culture, education, personnel training and health. China will continue to train sorely needed professionals for South Sudan and send medical teams to the country, Hu promised.
Echoing Hu's proposals on developing the ties, Kiir said South Sudan will firmly stick to the one-China policy and view China as an important strategic and cooperative partner. He welcomed Chinese enterprises to invest in South Sudan, noting the country is willing to work with China in the areas of economy and trade, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. Kiir also praised China's assistance for South Sudan, adding that its people bear friendly sentiments toward Chinese people. South Sudan hopes to enhance bilateral social and cultural exchanges and cooperation. South Sudan will actively support and take part in the fifth ministerial meeting of the FOCAC, which is slated to be held in Beijing this year, in an effort to push forward China-Africa relations, he said.
Kiir briefed Hu on South Sudan's position and its current relations with Sudan. Noting that South Sudan is committed to resolving disputes through negotiation, Kiir said his country will try to ease tensions and reach a package of agreements with Sudan, in order to achieve peaceful coexistence. He also called for assistance and support from the international community, including China.
China has been developing friendly and cooperative relations with South Sudan and Sudan in the spirit of mutual respect and treating each other as equals, Hu said. He hoped that South Sudan and Sudan would adhere to a peaceful path based on the fundamental interests of both people and the overall situation of regional peace. He called on South Sudan and Sudan to respect each other's sovereignty, maintain calm and restraint, and properly resolve differences and outstanding issues through negotiation on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. Hu also urged the two sides to cooperate with the mediation efforts of the international community and end armed conflict on their borders. "China sincerely hopes that South Sudan and Sudan will become good neighbors and partners that can live in harmony and realize common development," said Hu.
After the talks, the presidents witnessed the signing of several cooperative agreements on economic and technical cooperation and other areas.
Prior to the talks, President Hu held a welcome ceremony for Kiir at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. NPC Vice Chairman Chen Changzhi, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC Li Jinhua, Vice Chairperson of the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party Central Committee Wang Jirong, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua, China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng and Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Li Zhiguo attended the welcome ceremony.