Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday pledged his country's continuing support for Sudan, whose President Omar al-Beshir is currently being investigated on suspicion of genocide.
"Sino-Sudanese relations have withstood the test of international vicissitudes, and have developed smoothly," Hu said in a message to Beshir, according to a statement on the foreign ministry's website.
"China respects Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and supports its efforts to realise national reconciliation."
Hu's comments came as the two nations marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and ahead of a visit by the Chinese president to four other African states next week.
Hu will travel to Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius, as well as Saudi Arabia, from February 10 to 17.
China's relationship with Sudan has come under fire from rights groups, which accuse Beshir of supporting militias in Darfur in western Sudan.
The United Nations says that up to 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict broke out in February 2003. Sudan says 10,000 have been killed.
Judges at the International Criminal Court are currently examining evidence to decide whether to issue an arrest warrant for Beshir on charges of genocide in Darfur.