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China, S. Africa agree to build exemplary relations


16:25, March 26, 2013

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, South Africa, March 26, 2013. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, met here Tuesday and agreed to further boost bilateral relations.

Noting that China and South Africa are both important developing countries with similar histories and interdependent futures, Xi said the bilateral relationship carries increasing strategic significance and global influence.

China, he added, is ready to work with South Africa to build their ties into a model both for the development of the new type of the China-Africa strategic partnership and for the solidarity and cooperation between large developing countries.

China treats its relationship with South Africa as a foreign policy priority, Xi said, adding that the two sides should reinforce mutual trust, expand bilateral exchanges and maintain mutual understanding and support on issues regarding each other's core interests and major concerns.

The two countries also need to strengthen strategic cooperation on global and regional affairs so as to safeguard the common interests not only of themselves but of the broader developing world, Xi said.

China, he added, is ready to further promote bilateral cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win results, and encourages Chinese enterprises and financial institutions to invest in South Africa's priority areas, such as infrastructure, mining, energy and the auto industry.

Meanwhile, the two sides should be future-oriented and expand people-to-people exchanges, he said, calling for concerted efforts to ensure a success of the National Year program to be hosted by the two countries in rotation in 2014 and 2015.

China will set up a Chinese culture center in South Africa, push for more higher-education cooperation and educate the coming generations for carrying on the China-South Africa friendship, said the Chinese president.

China, Xi added, sees Africa as a continent of hope, and backs South Africa's commitment to African endeavor to gain strength from unity and independence in addressing African problems.

China is willing to boost cooperation with South Africa on African affairs and to play a constructive role in matters concerning African peace and security, so as to contribute to lasting peace and security in Africa, he added.

As regards the March 26-27 BRICS summit in the South African city of Durban, Xi said China supports South Africa in hosting the conference and stands ready to strengthen cooperation both within the five-party mechanism and between BRICS and Africa.

For his part, Zuma said the fact that Xi came to South Africa in his first foreign trip as president fully demonstrates the high level of the bilateral relations.

South Africa attaches strategic importance to its solidarity and cooperation with China, and is willing to work with China to achieve common development and pursue a more just and reasonable international order, he added.

China's development under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a source of hope and inspiration for South Africa and encourages South Africa to strive for a better future, he said, adding that his African National Congress party hopes to boost exchanges with the CPC.

South Africa values China's role as its largest trading partner and hopes that more Chinese enterprises will invest in South Africa and help achieve a balanced growth of bilateral trade, he said.

South Africa, he added, appreciates China's assistance in agriculture, education, health care and talent training, and hopes to boost mutual understanding and bilateral friendship through the National Year program.

South Africa is willing to work with China to boost the Africa-China cooperation, said Zuma, adding that his country is also ready to step up coordination with China under BRICS, G20 and other multilateral frameworks to advance the democratization of international relations.

Following the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation agreements.

Later in the day, Xi will travel to Durban for the summit of BRICS, an emerging-economy group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Under the theme of "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization," the summit will be joined by African leaders for promotion of regional development and integration.

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