On November 7th, Chinese Ambassador to Sudan Ma Xinmin publishes a signed article titled “Partnership That Has Maintained Its Luster” on China Daily. The full text is as follows:
Partnership That Has Maintained Its Luster
On August 17, 2019, after four months of turmoil, the final signing ceremony of the Declaration of the Constitution of Sudan’s transitional period was held in the Friendship Hall, which was built with Chinese assistance. As a symbol for China-Sudan friendship, the Friendship Hall witnessed the historic moment which opened an epoch for military-civilian coalition governance after the regime change unseen for 30 years.
“Old friends are real gold that never fades.” In different historical periods, China-Sudan friendship has withstood the wind and rain. And the remarkable achievements of China-Sudan cooperation have been proved by the tangible benefits enjoyed by the Chinese and Sudanese people.
China and Sudan have always adhered to equality and mutual trust and jointly met the challenges of the times. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1959, although there have been downs as well as ups in their relations, China and Sudan have maintained strong political mutual trust and forged ahead.
The development of China-Sudan relations shows that the two sides bear in mind the big picture of their overall interests, transcend differences and take into consideration each other’s core interests and major concerns. That makes China-Sudan relation as solid as rocks and is the treasure for both countries. In 1964, Premier Zhou Enlai visited Sudan, which laid solid basis for and heralded the friendly exchange between China and Sudan. In 2015, the two countries established Strategic Partnership, leading the relation between the two countries into a new era. In the face of the ever-changing and increasingly complex international situation, China and Sudan have always supported, cooperated and coordinated with each other on international and regional occasions. For example, on the South China Sea issue, Sudan stood out as the first country to speak for China, as well while China kept speaking for Sudan in the UN Security Council.
China and Sudan have always adhered to pragmatic cooperation and shared the fruits of development. Sudan was one of the first countries to actively respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Historically, Sudan’s port on the Red Sea was the gathering point for ancient Chinese trade caravans to Africa, acting as the link between China and Arabian and African countries. China has helped Sudan build a complete oil industry chain integrating oil and gas exploration, extraction, refining, chemical industry and trade, creating a new model of win-win cooperation and development. The 100 Sudanese pound note bears the images of three massive dams – the Merowe Dam, the Roseires Dam, and the most recently built Upper Atbara Dam – which provide 95 percent of Sudan’s electricity and were built or reconstructed by Chinese enterprises. In agricultural cooperation, Chinese enterprises have developed new models with local farmers. The cotton planting area has reached 133.33 square kilometers, benefiting 150,000 Sudanese farmers.
China and Sudan have always adhered to cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Both countries have rich and excellent historical and cultural traditions. Close exchanges between the two peoples have provided a solid foundation for the two countries’ cooperation and consolidated our friendship. Since 1971, China has sent nearly 1,000 medical teams to Sudan. More than 8.22 million patients have been treated and more than 200,000 surgeries have been conducted. Three “Brightness Action” projects, providing free cataract surgery for local patients have been launched in Sudan, benefiting 1,533 people.
Also, China has provided long-term training programs in agriculture, petroleum, healthcare, education, news, culture and public management for Sudanese technical personnel. By the end of 2018, more than 8,100 Sudanese had been trained by the programs offered by Chinese government, while 1766 Sudanese ever granted Chinese scholarships and 3000 Sudanese students receiving education in China at present. In 2008, after the Wenchuan earthquake, Sudan donated about 400,000 US dollars to China in the name of the government, political parties, enterprises and individuals in spite of its own difficulties. This act of providing timely help has deeply moved Chinese people.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sudan. It is also the starting year for the new Sudanese regime to open up new prospects for the country. In this important year of building on past achievements and opening up new prospects, China is ready to work with Sudan to explore new opportunities for cooperation in various fields. We would like to work with Sudan in the following aspects:
First, carry forward friendly relations and enhance mutual trust. Sudan is currently faced with the dual tasks of political transition and economic transformation, China has always believed in the Sudanese people’s wisdom and ability to handle their own affairs. China will not change the declared policies in promoting our relations. And we believe the friendship and cooperation of strategic consensus between us will not change. China is ready to work with Sudan to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in political diplomacy, political parties, parliaments, military affairs, judicial affairs, law enforcement and local governments, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues as well as issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.
Second, synergize development strategies and expand cooperation. With a population of 40 million and rich natural resources, Sudan is close to the Red Sea and occupies the junction of the Blue Nile and the White Nile. With unique geographical advantages, Sudan is a natural partner for the Belt and Road. China is ready to synergize its strategies with the new Sudanese regime, tap the potential of cooperation and draw on each country’s strengths. China is ready to actively develop regional economies such as those bordering the Red Sea and the Nile and expand cooperation with Sudan in agriculture, animal husbandry, mining, oil, production capacity, aviation, ports and other infrastructure areas under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
Third, consolidate public support and strengthen friendship. Over the past 60 years, the friendship between the two peoples has remained firm. We should always learn from one another and expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, tourism, sports, think tanks and non-governmental sectors, so that the youth of the two countries can pick up the baton and make positive contributions to consolidating the traditional friendship between the two countries.
China is ready to join hands with Sudan to embark on a new journey of win-win cooperation and usher in a new chapter of the dream of rejuvenation.