China expresses confidence in Sudan

By Leng Shumei Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/12 21:23:39

Coup in African country puts pressure on Chinese businesses

Demonstrators take part in a protest demanding the departure of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir as they wait for an announcement outside the Sudanese Army headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, on Thursday. Photo: IC

China pays close attention to the situation in Sudan, trusting that the country can deal with its domestic affairs and sustain national stability, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday. 

China and Sudan enjoy deep friendly relations. No matter how the situation changes in the country, China will be devoted to safeguarding and developing friendly and cooperative relations with Sudan, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a routine press conference on Friday.

Lu's remarks came after Sudanese Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf confirmed late Thursday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and his government had been ousted.

He Wenping, a research fellow at the Institute of West-Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday that the coup was not surprising given popular protests over deteriorating economic conditions and price hikes in basic commodities in the country since December 2018. 

"Sudan's economy relies too much on oil, so the people suffer a lot when oil prices drop sharply," He said, noting that it is a coup caused by bread.

Sudan's people and army were also incited by the stepping down of 77-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after large-scale demonstrations. 

China has been working with Sudan in the petroleum industry, port and road construction, and electric power projects since the 1980s. 

China National Petroleum Corporation, a Chinese company cooperating with Sudan, told the Global Times on Friday that their business has not been affected so far. 

An anonymous insider told the Global Times that most of the large Chinese petroleum projects are located in South Sudan, which would not be hugely affected by the coup. 

However, Arthur Wan, a sales manager of Qingdao-based Sportrak Tire Group Limited, made no secret of his concerns over Sudan's current situation, saying they would be more cautious with business in the country, especially in foreign exchanges, as "the risk is too big." 

"We also worry about any unexpected changes in the ports that will lead to problems during the customs clearance process for our clients," Wan said. 

Ibn Auf was sworn in as head of the transitional council in Sudan. Al-Bashir was arrested by the military after 30 years in power, Sudan TV reported.

Ibn Auf had declared a state of emergency for three months and a curfew for one month. He said that a military council would be formed to run the country during a transition period of two years.

Despite the curfew, protestor vowed to stay on the streets, according to BBC.

US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino on Thursday called on transition authorities to exercise restraint and allow space for civilian participation in the government. 

The situation in Sudan has made some foreign media worried a second Arab Spring was coming without political reforms and significant job creation. 

Algeria and Sudan were not involved in the 2011 turmoil. But the aftermath of the turmoil began to impact the two countries as they failed to solve problems in their political structure and launch economic reform in the past eight years, He said.


blog comments powered by Disqus