BEIJING, April 27 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, exchanged congratulatory messages Sunday on holding the China Year in South Africa, and the South Africa Year in China.
Such celebrations in each other's country in 2014 and 2015, respectively, will be major cultural events for China and South Africa, as well as for the friendly exchanges between both nations, Xi said in the message.
The events will certainly increase understanding and friendship between Chinese and South African peoples, and enrich the content of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, he added.
China stands ready to join hands with South Africa, by seizing upon the occasion of "the country year" celebrations, to lift their comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights, Xi said.
Meanwhile, Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, congratulated South Africa on the 20th anniversary of its founding.
Zuma said the South Africa-China relations have achieved leapfrog development in recent years, urging the two countries to lift people-to-people exchanges to a higher level.
South Africa hopes to celebrate with China in 2014 both the holding of the South Africa Year in China and the 20th anniversary of the ending of apartheid, which was a victory of South Africa's democratic revolution, Zuma said.