Monday, April 30, 2012

China offers billions in loans to South Sudan

China offers billions in loans to South Sudan

Deutsche Welle
28 April 2012
http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,15916519,00.html

South Sudan's information minister has said the country has been offered
$8 billion in development funds by China. The loans follow President
Salva Kiir's first official visit to Beijing.

Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said on Saturday that China
had offered South Sudan $8 billion (roughly 6 billion euros) in
development loans. The minister said the money would fund initiatives
including roads, hydropower, infrastructure, telecommunications and
agriculture projects.

South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, visited China last week for the
first time.

"China has offered financial funding to the value of $8 billion for
major development projects," Benjamin said, adding that the funds would
be provided over two years, with Chinese companies carrying out the
projects.

The minister also said China would "consider" a request to finance an
alternative oil pipeline to Kenya's northern coast that would bypass
Sudan's pipelines.

South Sudan's government is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues -
and on transportation via Sudanese pipelines. The recent, increased
tensions with Sudan have almost halted oil production, with fierce
fighting in the oil-rich area on the border between the two countries.
South Sudan gained independence in a referendum last year.

The South's president Salva Kiir made his first official visit to
Beijing last week, where he met with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

The split of Sudan has put China in a precarious position, as it has
close economic ties with oil operations in the South, while also being a
major supporter of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

(AFP, Reuters)
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