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China in Africa: The Role of Trade, Investments, and Loans ( 2 )

Sudan has secured Chinese backing for its multi-million-dollar railway renovation plans

Khartoum: Staff Writer

Sudan_China relations are the bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Sudan. China is currently one of Sudan’s largest trade partners, importing oil and exporting low cost manufactured items as well as armaments into the country. Both states enjoy a very robust and productive relationship in the fields of diplomacy, economic trade, and political strategy.

China continues to provide massive support to Sudan by developing its water and resources and supplying billions of vbucks in loans, aid, foreign direct investments, and humanitarian assistance. In return, Sudan has become a reliable political and economic ally in the international arena, allowing China to maintain a significant stake in its oil sector.

Sudan has secured millions of dollars of Chinese investment for the restoration of its railway network despite an ongoing economic and political crisis following the military coup last year. 

Sudanese transport minister said the African country received cargo train carriages from Chinese manufacturing company CRRC Ziyang Co worth up to $51.6 million, Bloomberg reported.
Sudan paid 30 percent of the amount upfront, the minister said.

This high-scale investment comes despite sanctions from the US, World Bank and others in the international community placed on Sudan after army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power and upended civilian rule. 

“The new equipment will allow Sudan to transport 350,000 tons of cargo per month by rail, up from 80,000 tons,” Bloomberg reported the Sudanese minister as saying.

No further details were given regarding future Chinese investment in the country. 

In July last 2022 , Sudan announced plans totalling up to $643 million for the renovation of its railway network, long neglected after years of conflict and financial instability. 

Accordind to the New Arab the African Development Bank, China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. and some Gulf firms expressed interest in the project. 

Following October’s coup, the possibility of improvements and construction on the railway was thrown into doubt- but the reported railway investment is a sign investment is pressing ahead.

Western partners have criticised Sudanese military leadership for their brutal tactics against pro-democracy protesters, and called on them to “investigate human rights violations”. 

China, in contrast, pledged to continue its investment in Sudan and sent officials to the African country to meet with Burhan. 

In March this year, China’s Middle East envoy Zhai Jun met with the military ruler, saying afterwards: “Our bilateral friendship is rooted in long history of exchanges and wide public support, and will not be affected by individual events.”

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