KHARTOUM, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. lifting of sanctions on Sudan is likely to further enhance the friendly Sudan-China partnership rather than damaging it, Sudanese analysts said.
The strong Sudan-China ties greatly eased the negative effects of the two-decade U.S. sanctions on Sudan, which is unlikely to seek rapprochement with the U.S. at the expense of its ties with China, they agreed.
SUDAN'S RAPPROCHEMENT WITH U.S. WON'T BE AT EXPENSE OF TIES WITH CHINA
The U.S. State Department announced on Oct. 6 to lift its economic sanctions on Sudan, citing the latter's positive actions to end hostilities in conflict areas, improvement in human rights and cooperation on fighting terrorism.
But it added that Sudan would remain on the U.S. blacklist of states sponsoring terrorism, and some of the sanctions on Darfur would remain.
While the U.S. move is widely expected to improve Sudan's ties with Washington after decades of animosity, Sudanese analysts agree that it will not have negative impact on Sudan's friendly ties with China.
Rather, they pointed out, Khartoum will seek to further solidify its ties with China, especially in the economic and trade areas in its bid to seek economic development in the post-sanction era.
"In principle, we are keen to strengthen our relations with China as a friendly country that supported Sudan in the most difficult times," Abboud Jabir Saeed, secretary general of Sudan's National Unity Government Parties, told Xinhua in an interview.
"Our ties with the U.S. will not be at the cost of China or any other country. Sudan is a country of sovereignty and exercises its external relations according to its interests," he added.
Mohamed Hassan Saeed, a lecturer at Al-Rasid Center for Strategic Studies in Khartoum, rejected the assumption that the U.S. sanctions' lifting would be a gate for fast rapprochement between Sudan and the U.S. at the cost of its ties with China.
"Sudan can not, strategically and morally, abandon China which has been, and continues to be, Sudan's best partner and biggest economic and political supporter," he told Xinhua in an interview.
Mohamed Al-Nayer, a lecturer of economics at Africa International University, also said that the Sudan-U.S. rapprochement will not be at the expense of China.
"This will not happen because of the strong ties between Sudan and China," Al-Nayer told Xinhua in an interview.
SUDAN-CHINA PARTNERSHIP SERVES AS INSPIRING MODEL FOR SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION
The diplomatic and economic ties have been growing steadily between Sudan and China since their establishment of diplomatic ties in 1959.
China is now Sudan's biggest trade partner, with a trade volume 10 times the size of Sudan's trade with all major economic countries. Sudan, in turn, ranks third among China's leading African economic partners.
Sudan regards China as a strategic partner that has provided it with valuable assistance at a time when it was facing U.S. blockade.
Hassan Saeed pointed out that, despite the negative effects of the U.S. sanctions, the Sudan-China partnership has achieved "remarkable successes" in many fields in the past decades.
He praised the Sudan-China partnership as "an inspiring model" in terms of their cooperation in the fields of oil industry and infrastructure construction, where China has made huge contribution despite the obstacles resulting from the U.S. sanctions.
The Sudan-China cooperation in the oil field is being cited as a shining model for the south-south cooperation. China assisted the African country with establishing an independent oil industry through the construction of the Khartoum Refinery that led to its oil self-sufficiency and even exports.
The exchange of official visits between Sudan and China and the establishment of a number of joint projects also constitute mechanisms for enhancing their friendly ties and deepening mutual respect, the analysts said.
"Definitely, the partnership between Sudan and China will witness further flourishing after the sanctions' lifting and ending of many complexities that were faced by the investment sector in Sudan," Hassan Saeed said.
Al-Nayer also believed that the Sudan-China ties will witness further progress in the future through enhanced cooperation.
"In my viewpoint, the sanctions' lifting will only enhance the standing Sudan-China partnership and will not be at its expense," he said.