China has been a strong supporter of Sudan and its President Omar al-Bashir, despite allegations of Sudanese war crimes in Darfur. The two-day visit of the Chinese Foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, comes after Sudan released a cargo of South Sudanese oil it had blocked in a row over custom duties. Many are curious to see if allegiances will be shifted now that South Sudan has officially become the world’s newest nation and also hold three-quarters of the reserves of the former united Sudan.
Despite the seemingly full support of South Sudan from Sudan, relations over oil still remain tense. Sudan blocked a 600,000-barrel oil shipment from South Sudan on Friday. Khartoum said South Sudan had failed to pay the north customs duties for the use of its pipeline, refinery and port. However, it was reported on Saturday that the shipment had been released.
However, according to reports, “China's policy towards Sudan will not change, whatever the pressure and internal and external changes," Yang was quoted as saying by Sudan Media Center late on Sunday, shortly after his arrival in Khartoum. "China will continue its support for infrastructure projects in the fields of economy and development," he added.