A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said in Beijing Tuesday that the CPC and the Chinese government attach great importance to friendship and cooperation with South Africa.
Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks when meeting with Essop Pahad, minister in Presidency of South Africa.
Li reviewed the rapid and all-round development of bilateral relations with frequent exchanges of high-level visits and increasing people-to-people contacts since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1998.
He said the two countries have also conducted fruitful consultations and cooperation in many international affairs, emphasizing that South Africa is China's biggest trade partner in Africa and is the number one African destination for Chinese tourists.
Strengthening unity and cooperation with African countries has always been an important component of China's independent, peaceful foreign policy, said Li, hoping that bilateral exchanges will help promote bilateral cooperation in such fields as politics, economy, culture and press.
Pahad said South Africa will strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China and continuously enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
He stressed that South Africa and the African National Congress will, as always, adhere to the one-China position with understanding of and support for China's peaceful reunification.