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China backs Sudan secession vote

China has said it respects Southern Sudan's vote for independence and wants peace and stability in the oil-rich region.

Though China has long supported President Omar al-Bashir and his northern regime, it has tried to maintain friendly ties with the southern region as part of its strategy to protect Chinese oil investments.

Official results from a January vote showed nearly unanimous support for Southern Sudan to split from the north. It becomes a separate country in July.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said: "China respects the choice of Sudan people and appreciates the unremitting efforts of both the north and the south to promote the peace process between the two sides."

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