BEIJING - South Sudan President Salva Kiir told his Chinese counterpart of Tuesday that Sudan had declared war on his newly-independent country, following weeks of border fighting between the two countries.
"It (this visit) comes at a very critical moment for the Republic of South Sudan because our neighbour in Khartoum has declared war on the Republic of South Sudan," Kiir told Chinese President Hu Jintao during a meeting in Beijing.
"I have undertaken this visit because of the great relationship that I value with China. China is one of our economic and strategic partners," he added.
Kiir's visit comes days after he ordered troops to withdraw from the oil-rich Heglig region after seizing it from Sudan, a move that brought the two countries to the brink of all-out war.
Sudanese war planes bombed a market in the capital of South Sudan's oil-producing Unity State on Monday, residents and officials said, an attack the southern army called a declaration of war.
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