China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has signed a deal to develop offshore oil in Sudan despite international pressure to reduce its involvement due to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. CNPC and Indonesia's state-run oil and gas company, PT Pertamina, have signed a 20-year concession agreement to explore for oil, which includes sharing future production, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing state media. About US$25 million will be invested during the first three years of exploration. Sudan is already among China's top oil suppliers, exporting 4.7 million metric tons in the first five months of the year, a fivefold increase year-on-year. Beijing has come under fire from human rights activists who accuse it of backing a Sudanese government allegedly complicit in ethnic killings in the Darfur region. China has also blocked the imposition of tougher sanctions on Sudan by the UN Security Council. Efforts have also been made to limit UN action against Iran. On Tuesday, China's UN ambassador called for more diplomacy before the Security Council considers new sanctions to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
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