Chinese President Hu Jintao congratulated the newly-independent country of South Sudan, promising strong ties so as to retain access to Sudanese oil. China has long had close relations with Sudan, and it has made sure that the formation of South Sudan did not turn into large scale fighting that would disrupt oil supplies to China. South Sudan has three-quarters of the oil reserves of the old unified Sudan. Hu offered his friendship to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir in a phone call, according to a Foreign Ministry statement late Saturday.
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