The world’s newest country - but in the space of a few days late last year, South Sudan slid toward civil war. Thousands have been killed since then, up to a million displaced. And mediators are struggling to broker talks.
Beijing moved quickly to push for peace.Foreign minister Wang Yi made several public calls...China’s special representative on African Affairs Zhong Jianhua has been closely involved in the peace talks in Addis Ababa. And he’s made clear this represents a new approach.
Zhong Jianhua, China's special representative, said, "I think, first I should admit that this is a challenge for China. This is something new for us. Since our president made the plan that we will do more on the peace and security for this continent, and it is the new chapter for the Chinese foreign affairs."
China has been a major supporter of South Sudan. It also is a major investor in its economy.Beijing’s determination to help find a peace deal has been welcomed by all sides in the talks.
Michael Makue, Information Minister, South Sudan, said, "China came in to rescue a situation. And this is actually an exceptional. It’s an exceptional action taken by the Chinese government which is in other words a demonstration this special relations which are developing between china and the Republic of South Sudan."
Mabior Garang, opposition spokesperson, South Sudan, said, "It’s good that China started to have more of a responsibility in terms of social issues in Africa. Its good to see it and it’s welcome. We will not reject any help from any party. So we appreciate the role of China."
- Foreign forces to be deployed in South Sudan 2014-03-06