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BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday vowed to expand cooperation with South Sudan in areas including trade, agriculture, infrastructure construction and energy.
The pledge was made during a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Vice President of South Sudan James Wani Igga in Beijing.
Li said the Chinese government will support the two countries' cooperation and expressed hope that the government of South Sudan can take effective measures to protect the safety of Chinese companies and people there.
Calling South Sudan China's good friend and partner in Africa, Li said the Chinese government supports people in South Sudan to choose their own development path according to the country's situation, and that it is willing to provide assistance.
China appreciates the efforts made by the South Sudan government to solve its domestic crisis peacefully, as well as the mediating role played by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development in this regard, the premier said, adding that China hopes South Sudan can realize national reconciliation, security and stability as soon as possible.
China is ready to continue to play a constructive role for the peace and development of south and north Sudan, he added.
Igga said South Sudan and China share a deep friendship, and that South Sudan is grateful for the long-term support given by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government for its peace, stability and economic development.
South Sudan will continue to strive for its national reconciliation and peace, and will protect the safety of Chinese companies and people, he vowed.
With regard to China-Africa cooperation, Li said China will continue to treat Africa sincerely and equally and strengthen their solidarity and mutual trust.
He called on the two sides to expand cooperation in such areas as industry, finance, poverty reduction, environmental protection, cultural exchanges and security, and jointly construct networks of railways, highways and regional aviation.
Igga echoed Li, saying the cooperation framework he proposed during his Africa visit in May encouraged countries in East Africa. The East African countries are willing to cooperate with China to promote regional transportation network construction.
Later on Tuesday afternoon, Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao held talks with Igga.
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
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