Chinese President Hu Jintao held a welcoming ceremony and meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salve Kiir in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People.

Hu rolled out the red carpet for Kiir at the Great Hall of the People, where the leaders inspected the guard of honour. The ceremony was followed by bilateral talks with the South Sudanese leader who told Hu this was a critical moment for his country because neighbouring Sudan had "declared war" on South Sudan.

The two territories went their separate ways last July without settling a list of bitter disputes over the position of their shared border, the ownership of key territories and how much the landlocked South should pay to transport its oil through Sudan.