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Hu emphasizes stronger cooperation with South Africa

(Xinhua)

14:01, September 30, 2011

BEIJING, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- President Hu Jintao said on Friday that China is ready to boost its cooperation with South Africa to a higher level.

Hu made the remark while meeting with visiting South African Vice President Petrus Kgalema Mothlanthe at Beijing's Great Hall of the People on Friday morning.h Bilateral relations have picked up since China and Africa established diplomatic links in 1998, with Hu visiting South Africa in 2007 and South African President Jacob Zuma visiting China in 2010. During Zuma's visit, the heads of state signed the Beijing Declaration and established a strategic partnership.

During their meeting in Beijing, Hu said the establishment of the strategic partnership marked a new stage of development for China-South Africa relations.

Hu called for both sides to strengthen strategic communication, deepen political mutual trust and bolster cooperation in order to advance bilateral ties.

Hu said the two sides should expand the scale of their cooperation by tapping into potentials in connection with the development plans and strategies of both nations. He said the two sides should further strengthen cooperation on key projects in order to achieve the goals specified in the Beijing Declaration.

According to the Beijing Declaration, China and South Africa will work together to improve the structure of bilateral trade by encouraging the trade of high value-added manufactured goods and increasing China's investment in South Africa. The two sides will continue to deepen their cooperation in infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, railways, ports, power plants,airports and housing.

Mothlanthe said the China-South Africa strategic partnership has seen smooth development under the guidance of the Beijing Declaration.

He said the South Africa is ready to work with China to continue to implement the Beijing Declaration by having closer high-level contact, expanding practical cooperation, increasing bilateral trade and investment, promoting cultural and personal exchanges and stepping up consultation and cooperation on regional and international affairs.

He said South Africa is ready to boost the strategic partnership between the two countries to a new stage.

Mothlanthe has paid three visits to China since 2001. His current visit marks the first time that he has visited the country since being elected vice president.

In addition to Beijing, Mothlanthe also visited Shanghai with a group of South African businessmen. He also attended the China-South Africa Economy and Trade Forum in Beijing and met with Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping.

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