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Chinese, South African presidents discuss bilateral cooperation

(Xinhua)

10:44, March 26, 2012

Chinese President Hu Jintao (3rd L) meets with Lee Myung-bak (2nd R), president of the Republic of Korea (ROK), in Seoul, capital of the ROK, March 26, 2012. The two leaders are meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit slated for Monday and Tuesday in Seoul. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

SEOUL, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao met here Monday his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma to discuss further development of China-South Africa relations.

The two leaders are also expected to exchange views on major world and regional issues of mutual concern.

Bilateral ties have developed steadily with exchanges of high-level visits and expansion of all-round cooperation since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1998.

President Hu visited South Africa in 2007 and his counterpart Zuma visited China in 2010.

During Zuma's visit in August 2010, the two sides signed the Beijing Declaration and established a comprehensive strategic partnership, marking a new stage of development for China-South Africa relations.

China is the largest trading partner of South Africa in the world while South Africa is China's biggest trading partner in Africa. Last year, bilateral trade was registered at 45.4 billion U.S. dollars, increasing by 76 percent over that of the previous year.

In recent years, the two countries have enlarged cooperation in a wide range of sectors from mining, finance, telecommunications, new energy to science and technology, culture, education and tourism.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

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