Scholars of South Sudan, China pledge collaboration for mutual development

Source:xinhua 2024-04-15

South Sudanese scholars, together with their Chinese counterparts, on Friday pledged to deepen their collaboration on research and knowledge sharing in a bid to contribute to the development of their respective countries.

The two sides met at the third South Sudan-China Think Tank Forum held in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, to share knowledge and experiences on a wide range of key issues vital in the bilateral cooperation of the two countries.

The two countries need to deepen their cooperation in the education sector, said Robert Mayom Deng, vice chancellor of the University of Juba, adding that these efforts will help both countries to build a knowledge-sharing system that can impact capabilities for sustainable development and strengthen their partnership for common development.

The forum, held under the theme of "strengthening partnerships for common development," was established jointly by the Juba-based Institute for Strategic and Policy Studies and the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University. The first forum was hosted in Juba in 2019, with the second following in December 2021.

Deng said that China has a key role to play in bringing peace and stability to South Sudan. "As one of the greatest nations in the world, I am sure they can do that. This stability can sustain development of our nation because once we have this sustained development, then it is going to affect our population in a very positive way. China can do that by sharing knowledge and experience in capacity building," he added.

The University of Juba has built a close partnership with the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University in China, facilitating the enrollment of several of its scholars at the Chinese institution.

Liu Hongwu, director general of the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, said South Sudan is a crucial country for Chinese investments, being at the heart of the African continent and East Africa.

Lin Chen, secretary general of the Center for South Sudan Studies of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University and program analyst at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said "the center has played a pivotal role in fostering intellectual dialogue, promoting understanding and contributing to the development and prosperity of China-South Sudan cooperation. While we take pride in these achievements, we are fully aware that there is still much more work to be done."

Melha Ruot Biel, executive director of the Juba-based Institute for Strategic and Policy Studies, said that the forum is very important in advancing not only bilateral cooperation but also people-to-people relations. "This exchange alone is an important thing between China and South Sudan, you cannot do business when you don't know one another."

Ma Qiang, Chinese ambassador to South Sudan, said that the forum has played a positive role in promoting the overall development of bilateral relations by tightening the bonds of people through the exchange and integration of ideas, enhancing mutual understanding through learning from each other and serving the greater good of both nations.

"We should jointly implement the Global Development Initiative, deepening China-South Sudan pragmatic cooperation across the board. Development is the key to solving problems, and it is also placed at the center of our cooperation," Ma said.

"China is a reliable friend and sincere partner for African countries in their efforts to safeguard independence and promote development and revitalization. China stands ready to strengthen multilateral coordination with South Sudan and other African countries to practice true multilateralism and safeguard the common interests of developing countries," he said.

Ma pointed out that the Chinese government stands ready to promote the high-quality development of China-South Sudan cooperation and give more support to the economic and social development of South Sudan under the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

He also encouraged scholars from both countries to proactively propose feasible policy recommendations for exploring new growth areas of bilateral cooperation by closely aligning with the achievements and experiences of Chinese modernization and taking into account the development needs and aspirations of South Sudan.

The South Sudan-China Think Tank Forum aims to enhance the academic research capabilities of China and South Sudan. It seeks to facilitate the exchange of experiences in policy research, social and economic development, environmental protection, and other fields.


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