Whatever the outcome, the challenges in Southern Sudan are daunting. Some 51 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and more than half are under the age of eighteen. Only 27 percent of the adult population is literate.
Elections in Sudan concluded last month with indicted war criminal Omar Al-Bashir taking 68% of the vote. Bashir's victory was never in doubt and, for many reasons, the international community could do nothing but assent to the outcome.
Some are describing the president's trip to China as a test of his foreign policy prowess; it's a test of his dedication to resolving one of the thorniest problems currently plaguing the international community: Sudan.