BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday welcomed an oil agreement between Sudan and South Sudan and urged South Sudan to protect the interests of its cooperation partners.
According to the agreement, the two sides will share their oil resources, which will allow South Sudan's oil to resume being exported via Sudan's territories.
"China appreciates the practical, flexible and responsible manner the two sides showed during the negotiations as well as the efforts made by the African Union," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said when asked to comment on the matter.
He urged South Sudan to resume the normal production and transportation of crude oil, and take substantial measures to protect the interests of its cooperation partners.
China also called for greater political courage from the two countries in order to maintain the current sound negotiation momentum and properly settle existing issues along with international mediation efforts, Qin said.
The oil dispute between Sudan and South Sudan began five months after South Sudan separated from Sudan in July 2011, as Sudan decided to deduct its oil fees in arrears on the part of South Sudan in the form of crude oil.
On Jan. 20, 2012, South Sudan announced a halt to its oil production and exportation through Sudanese territories, accusing Khartoum of stealing about 1.4 million barrels of its oil at Bashair harbor in eastern Sudan.
While most of the oil wells are located in South Sudan, the pipelines and ports to export the oil are in Sudan.
In addition to the oil dispute, many outstanding issues remain between Sudan and South Sudan, including the border demarcation.