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Chinese FM confers with South African counterpart on bilateral ties


09:05, February 19, 2013

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (L) meets with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (R) in Cape Town, South Africa, on Feb. 18, 2013. (Xinhua/Yu Dabo)

Key Words:South African;China;bilateral ties;

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CAPE TOWN, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met here on Monday with South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana- Mashabane to explore ways of furthering bilateral cooperation.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations, the upcoming BRICS summit to be hosted by South Africa in Durban on March 26-27, regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Yang said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 15 years ago, both countries have frequently exchanged high-level visits, enhanced political trust, deepened cooperation in various fields and coordinated smoothly on major international and regional affairs.

"In the last 15 years or so our relationship has developed on so many different fronts; political, economic, social, education and so on and both sides have benefited a great deal from this relationship," said Yang.

"We ought to work harder for the interests of our two peoples and for the interests of the developing world, and for mankind as well," said Yang.

There was a drive to boost economic cooperation with South Africa, as trade between the two countries continued to increase.

"The annual trade volume has reached almost 60 billion U.S. dollars and there's mutual investment, creating jobs. Our economies are highly complementary to each other," Yang said.

He said China is willing to work with South Africa to push forward the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Nkoana-Mashabane echoed Yang's view, saying South Africa was committed to furthering cooperation with China.

She said relations between the two countries have been " elevated from just having good friendship of having signed all the important agreements to taking our partnerships to the highest level of signing the comprehensive strategic partnership treaty."

Nkoana-Mashabane also briefed Yang on the logistical arrangements for the 5th BRICS Summit.

She said preparations for the summit "are at an advanced stage" and South Africa would work hard to ensure its success.

BRICS is an economic bloc representing five of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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