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China, South Africa celebrate 10th anniversary of diplomatic ties in Beijing
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11:03, April 22, 2008

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A reception was held here Monday evening to celebrate the 10th anniversary of forging diplomatic ties between China and South Africa.

Addressing the ceremony, South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the past 10 years had witnessed "an incredible growth in the extent and depth of bilateral relations".

Hailing the mutual cooperation in economic, financial, social and cultural fields, Dlamini-Zuma said the two sides are "not just celebrating 10 years of diplomatic ties," but celebrating "a truly strategic partnership."

She said the celebrations will culminate at the end of this year with a state visit by South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Zuma voiced South Africa's best wishes for Beijing Olympics and reiterated its government's "unwavering support" for the one-Chinapolicy.

Zhang Yesui, Vice Foreign Minister of China, also addressed the reception, reviewing the decade-long "most dynamic bilateral relations" in various sectors.

Official statistics show that in 2007, bilateral trade value reached 14 billion U.S. dollars, up 40 percent over the previous year.

"South Africa has become one of the most important economic cooperation partners of China in Africa, "Zhang said.

The reception, attended by over 300 guests from both countries, also marked the official launch of "South Africa Week" in China.

Starting from April 7, a variety of celebrations showcasing South African fashion, culture, jewelry, food and wine have been held in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Source: Xinhua

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