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China, South Africa launch friendship association
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08:45, April 25, 2008

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China and South Africa launched here Thursday the China-South Africa Friendship Association (CSAFA) to further promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

The association's president Abdul'ahat Abdurixit said that the CSAFA, which is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation, would further improve the friendship of Chinese and South African peoples.

"Although China and South Africa are geologically far away from each other, the two countries have a long tradition of friendly exchanges," he said, adding that the two countries have stepped up coordination in regional and international affairs since they set up diplomatic relations 10 years ago.

South Africa's ambassador to China Ndumiso N Ntshinga said at the opening ceremony that South Africa's friendship with China has been growing firmer and firmer since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1998.

Ntshinga said there are plenty of opportunities in his country and welcomed Chinese people to the African nation for sight seeing or tapping business opportunities.

He also said South Africa would take part in the magnificent event of the Beijing Olympic Games in August and wished the Games a complete success.

The two sides remain committed to cooperation and friendship despite South African dock workers reportedly refusing to unload a Chinese consignment of weapons destined for Zimbabwe because of the election crisis in Harare.

Bilateral relations have developed smoothly since the two nations set up diplomatic relations. South Africa has now become one of China's top partners for economic cooperation in Africa, and two-way trade topped 14 billion U.S. dollars in 2007.

Source: Xinhua

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