Speaking upon her arrival from China where she attended the China African Agricultural Forum, the newly-appointed Government of Southern Sudan’s Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Dr Anne Itto told the press that China has expressed her interest in developing South Sudan.
“From the discussions we had with the Chinese government, it is interested in having more oil blocks. It also wants to invest in minerals. It also expressed real interest to further develop their relationships with the ruling party, the SPLM”, Dr Itto said.
She added that China’s primary interest is not political but a partnership that would allow them to invest for the benefit of South Sudanese.
“Whether anybody likes it or not China is providing leadership in the development of developing countries because they have the money and the technology”, she said.
The forum was attended by 19 African countries where China runs development programmes. In Sudan, however, the development programmes are co-coordinated by the Khartoum-based National Congress Party (NCP).
She allayed fears that Chinese investments in South Sudan will be destroyed if the South secedes in the forthcoming referendum.
“There were wild rumours being spread by the NCP that if the South separates the Chinese investments in South Sudan will be destroyed. I informed the Chinese government that we protected many international assets during the war and that was when we were rebels and now that we are a government we can protect their wealth”, she said.
The SPLM Secretary General for Southern Sector revealed that the National Congress Party was supplying China with lies against the SPLM but said the Chinese are proving the NCP lies wrong.
She added that the SPLM has invited the Chinese government to visit South Sudan in October to witness for them the investment opportunities in the semi-autonomous region.