China will send its special envoy for Africa to South Sudan to help push talks and protect its oil interests.
The envoy will head to South Sudan "soon" to communicate with all parties, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, in comments carried on the Foreign Ministry's website.
The conflict has killed hundreds and some 45 000 civilians are seeking protection at UN bases. Violence erupted in the capital, Juba, on December 15 and quickly spread, dividing the land-locked country of 10.8-million people along ethnic lines.
It is already the biggest investor in oilfields in South Sudan, through state-owned Chinese oil giants China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Sinopec. Beijing is also one of Sudane'a President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's major supporters.
The fighting has also affected oil production, which accounts for 98% of government revenue in South Sudan. It has forced CNPC to evacuate some of its workers. – Reuters