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Beijing pledges help for north Sudan

Sudan's president, wanted on a war crimes warrant, won pledges yesterday from China and its state-owned energy firm that they will continue investing in his country after its resource-rich southern region becomes independent next month.

Sudan's Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said President Omar al-Bashir went to China hoping to hear Khartoum's biggest diplomatic and economic backer would continue to invest in Northern Sudan's oil, agriculture and mining sectors. "We had good assurances from his excellency President Hu Jintao that China would go on working with Sudan hand in hand whether politically or financially or economically," he added.

South Sudan's declaration of independence will clinch a 2005 deal that ended more than two decades of civil war.