Chinese president welcomes al-Bashir with open arms

China and Sudan are like two brothers, Xi Jinping says, who are also 'good friends' and partners.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 1 September 2015. Al-Bashir is in Beijing to attend Chinas huge military parade on 3 September marking Japan's defeat in World War II. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - China's President Xi Jinping has welcomed his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir to Beijing calling him an 'old friend' of the Chinese people.

They signed agreements covering space flight technology and establishing a strategic relationship.

President al-Bashir is in China as one of many heads of state joining celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender ending World War II.

Western leaders have shunned the event.

The Chinese president defends the invitation to man wanted for trial by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes in Darfur.

He says China's not a signatory of the ICC treaty.

China and Sudan are like two brothers, he says, who are also good friends and partners.

African countries, including Sudan made a contribution to victory in what China calls the anti-fascist war.