KHARTOUM, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Sudan reiterated its support for China's position regarding the South China Sea issue on Wednesday, saying its support is based on the strategic relations between the two countries.
"Sudan has taken the initiative by issuing a clear statement in affirmation to its stance and friendship with China and in support of China via rejecting the intervention in its affairs," Awad Ahmed al-Jaz, Sudanese official in charge of maintaining Sudan-China relations, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
"We maintain historic and deeply-rooted ties with China, and these ties necessitate us to defend and support one another. We have to work together, and just as China stands with Sudan and defends it, we promise that Sudan will remain a defender of China and its issues," he noted.
Al-Jaz further reiterated Sudan's willingness to enhance its relations with China to develop strategic bilateral ties in various fields.
"Based on the success of the experience of the joint cooperation between Sudan and China, a higher committee for developing bilateral ties has been established, chaired by (Sudanese) President Omar al-Bashir," he noted.
He went on saying that "the committee has prepared around 171 cooperation projects between Sudan and China, including economic, commercial, educational, health, mining, cultural, tourist and artistic fields, and we hope this plan will find acceptance by the other party."
Al-Jaz revealed that he would visit Beijing on July 27, to deliver a written message from President al-Bashir to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, in regard to enhancing the longstanding strategic partnership between the two countries.
In the meantime, al-Jaz deems the Sino-Sudanese Relations' Week, to be organized by Khartoum on Thursday, as a message confirming the strong ties, saying "the week will reflect the standing historical bonds between the two countries' peoples."
The Sudanese official reiterated Sudan's concern for China's two initiatives, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road , launched by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
"The Chinese president wants to renew an ancient history of the land and sea ties. It is one of the main cross roads, whereas Sudan was one of the main cross points on the Red Sea coast," explained al-Jaz.
"Sudan, with a strategic location and joint relations with the Arab and African worlds as well as its previous experiences with China, good relations with the neighboring countries and its location on the Red Sea, is ready to be a strategic point on this vital Road," he added.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives aim to bring closer the Asian, European and African countries via land and maritime networks of roads to boost infrastructures, financial cooperation and cultural exchange in these regions.
In February, the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir appointed al-Jaz Presidential Assistant in charge of managing Sudan-China affairs.
Al-Jaz assumed a number of official posts in Sudan, including Minister of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Energy and Mining, Minister of Industry and Minister of Oil.
After assuming the energy and mining portfolio, he has made great efforts to cement the longstanding partnership between Sudan and China, particularly in oil industry.
China recently honored al-Jaz one of the 10 international personalities who have made great contributions to economic and international relations with China. Enditem