BEIJING, July 11 China is keen to work with the
new state of South Sudan in developing its oil industry, but may
have to adjust its investment plans following the south's split
with Sudan, Chinese state media said on Monday.
South Sudan produces about three quarters of the whole of
Sudan's roughly 500,000 barrels of oil output and depends on oil
for 98 percent of its revenue.
The south funnels its oil through northern pipelines to
Sudan's only commercial port on the Red Sea coast.
South Sudan is involved in tortured negotiations over oil
rights with its old civil war foe which has received half of the
revenues from southern oil for six years and which wants
pipeline fees after secession.
China relied on Sudan as its sixth largest source of oil
imports in 2010, and has been keen to build a relationship with
leaders in the south, which became the world's newest country
over the weekend.
Li Zhiguo, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South
Sudan, said China could leverage its experience in working in
the oil industry in Sudan to help the new nation, the official
Xinhua news agency said.
"Compared with other countries, China's advantage in energy
cooperation is its investment based on equality and mutual
benefit," Li was quoted as saying. "We'd like to carry forward
(that) advantage in future cooperation with South Sudan."
Li said that arguments between South Sudan and Sudan on oil
revenues were an internal affair to be decided by "the two
brothers of Sudan".
"Any intervention in this key sector from the outside would
only complicate the situation and would not help resolve the
issue," Li said.
"We will respect the decision by the two sides and adjust
our plans of cooperation accordingly," he added, without
China has already begun training 30 South Sudanese in skills
needed for the oil industry, Xinhua said.
China recognised South Sudan on Saturday, and President Hu
Jintao has promised strong ties with the new country.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard;Editing by Clarence Fernandez)