China to send special envoy to South Sudan

China will soon dispatch a special envoy to conflict-wracked South Sudan, Beijing's foreign ministry said Thursday.

In a statement on its website, the ministry quoted foreign minister Wang Yi as having made the announcement to reporters during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

South Sudan won independence from Sudan two years ago but has been struck by internal political violence this month, which the United Nations says has left thousands dead.

China is among foreign countries with oil interests in the area.

According to Wang, China would soon send its special envoy for African affairs to South Sudan to make contact with all sides, the statement said.

China is willing to make efforts to help the situation in South Sudan quickly return to stability, Wang added, according to the statement.

South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, became independent after a civil war that killed more than two million people between 1983 and 2005.