Through Thick and Thin for 60 Years, Creating New Chapters Facing the Future

Upon 60 Years of Unshakable Ties, China-Sudan to Create New Future Chapters
February 4, 2019, represents an important day as it marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, at ambassador level, between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Sudan. As sixty years have already passed, the Sino-Sudanese relationship has been fruitful, not only in terms of the two countries’ shoulder to shoulder advancement through trials and hardship, but also with regard to breeding the glory for the next sixty years.
Though China and Sudan are located on the Asian and African continents respectively and separated by thousands of miles away, yet both countries have profound history and splendid culture and both enjoy a long-standing and well-established friendship with each other. The magnificent Yangtze River and Yellow River have nurtured the Chinese civilization with a history of five thousand years, while the “longer than Milky Way” Blue Nile and White Nile breeded the origins of the Pyramid civilization. The Great Wall, stretching for thousands of miles, stands as a symbol of China, while the Merowe Pyramid, with a history of more than one thousand years, does the same for Sudan. The two great civilizations have long been closely linked thanks to the ancient land and maritime Silk Roads. The similar historical experiences and the growing common interests have made the two countries share weal and woe. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations on February 4, 1959 , the bilateral relations have been developing in a healthy and stable way, remaining unshakable and becoming even firmer as time goes by. We are good friends, brothers and partners on the basis of equality, mutual support and win-win cooperation.
Sixty years of political cooperation is more solid than varnish gums, paying the right way of friendship, despite fact the the two countries are thousands miles away. During the past sixty years, China and Sudan have maintained high-level exchanges, including maintaining frequent exchanges in areas such as political parties, military etc . The two countries have always supported and cooperated with each other on issues involving core interests and major concerns, building a strong and solid political mutual trust. The historic visit paid by Premier Zhou Enlai to ten African countries including Sudan in the 1960s, known as the “Pioneer Tour”, has established, not only the new pattern of relationships between China and the African countries, but also the development of Sino-Sudanese relations in the diplomatic history of the People’s Republic of China. In recent years, the two Heads of State have met several times and have always played a strategic leading role in the relations between the two countries .On September 2015, President Xi Jinping and President Omar al-Bashir announced the establishment of strategic partnership between the two countries, marking a new historical stage of Sino-Sudanese relations. On September 2018, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met respectively with President Omar al-Bashir, who was visiting China to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and reached important consensus, drawing the grand blueprint for Sino-Sudanese relations. Until now, the high-level dialogue of the ruling parties of China and Sudan has been held five times, helping to draw on each other’s strength in governance.
Sixty years of economic cooperation shows that connectivity can lead to mutual benefits, and such mutual benefits will lead to mutual to mutual development, a win-win outcome for both sides. China and Sudan have strong economic complementarities and great potential for cooperation. China has long maintained its status as the largest trading partner, the largest engineering contracting country and the largest investor of Sudan. Sino-Sudanese pragmatic cooperation is the forerunner and demonstrator of China-Africa cooperation, and can also be called a model of “South-South cooperation.” Bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, energy, health, agriculture, etc. are productive and sparkling. Our oil cooperation, beginning in the mid-1990s, was known as the model of Sino-Sudanese cooperation. During the course, China helped Sudan to establish a complete oil industry chain integrating oil and gas exploration, mining , refining , chemicals and trade, creating a new pattern of mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. The cooperation between China and Sudan in agriculture and mining is a new growth point for pragmatic cooperation between the two countries. Chinese enterprises have founded a new model of cotton planting in cooperation with local farmers in the cooperative development zone of agriculture of the two countries. The cultivated area has reached 200,000 mu, and 150,000 Sudanese farmers could benefit from it. The Merowe Dam project undertaken by Chinese companies, known as the “Three Gorges of Sudan” . The Presidential Palace and Friendship Hall aided by China have become the “landmarks” of Sudan . The Chinese medical team assigned to Sudan, which began its first mission in 1971, is a practitioner of “true and sincere”. So far, China has dispatched 34 batches of about 1,000 medical workers to Sudan, receiving a total of 8.22 million patient visits. The “Brightness Action” has restored sight for 1382 Sudanese cataract patients, among which the most elderly was already 101 years old.
Sixty years of cultural cooperation has made the partnership a harmonious one when people of both countries appreciate their own beauty and that of others, and work together to create beauty in the world. Cultural and educational exchanges are the link that connects the friendship between the two peoples. The Sudanese Acrobatic Troupe, established under the care of Premier Zhou Enlai, was hailed by the Sudanese people as the “Flower of Friendship between Sudan and China”. It was the first acrobatic troupe in Africa and the Arab world and has become China’s cultural brand in that region. “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Show has become a cultural card of China. The educational cooperation between the two countries has achieved fruitful results. 2018 recorded 500 Chinese students studying in Sudan and more than 3,000 Sudanese students studying in China. The “Chinese Opportunity” has promoted the “Chinese language enthusiasm” to heat up and China has become one of the most popular destinations for Sudanese students. Many young Sudanese are longing for China in the practice of the ancient teaching by the Prophet Muhammad ” Knowledge should be sought in China in spite of the great distance”. Since its establishment, the Confucius Institute in Khartoum University has attracted 29,941 attendees to learn Chinese. Zhao Zhihang, a Sudanese student majored in Chinese studies at the University of Khartoum won the global championship in the 16th “Chinese Bridge” competition in China, which is the epitome of the quality education of Chinese language in Sudan.
An ancient Chinese philosopher observed that one needs to clean the mirror before taking a look at himself and that one should learn the lessons of the past before making decisions of the day. At present, the social-economic development for both China and Sudan is at a critical stage of improving quality and efficiency. China is focusing on deepening reform comprehensively and expanding opening up constantly, while Sudan is exerting itself to make the country prosperous. The year 2019 is the first year of the next Jiazi (a cycle of sixty years), and we have reached a new historical starting point in promoting the Sino-Sudanese relation. China is willing to work with the Sudanese side, taking the opportunity of the 60th anniversary ofthe establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, to continue to implement the important consensus actively reached by the heads of two countries, increase mutual trust, promote bilateral cooperation, cement popular support and write a new chapter in the strategic partnership between China and Sudan.

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