JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan says China has granted an $8 billion loan for major infrastructure projects in the new nation.
Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Saturday the money will finance agriculture, infrastructure, telecommunications and hydropower projects. He also says China will "consider" a request to finance an alternative oil pipeline to Kenya's northern coast that would bypass Sudan's pipelines.
The loan announcement comes just after President Salva Kiir's first official visit to China.
Kiir's visit came in the midst of an ongoing dispute with neighboring Sudan over an oil-rich region along their shared border. South Sudan became independent last year.
Recent fighting between the two nations has put both countries' oil industries at risk.