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China, South Africa vow to boost strategic partnership

2012-07-19 09:03 Xinhua    comment
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma review a guard of honor in Beijing, capital of China, July 18, 2012. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma review a guard of honor in Beijing, capital of China, July 18, 2012. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday held talks with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma in Beijing, pledging to jointly boost bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Zuma is in Beijing from July 18-20. He will attend the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on Thursday.

The ruling African National Congress of South Africa (ANC) will hold its 53rd national conference in December, said Hu, expressing the belief that the conference would be a complete success and voicing the hope that South African people would continue to make progress under the leadership of the ANC.

Hu said bilateral relations have progressed since his meeting with Zuma at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul and the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Los Cabos this year.

Next month marks the two-year anniversary of the signing of the Beijing Declaration between the two countries, said Hu, adding that China would take the opportunity to boost bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Hu raised a four-point proposal on enhancing bilateral cooperation. He suggested that the two sides maintain the momentum of high-level contact, deepen party-to-party exchanges and accommodate each other's concern on major and core interests, so as to cement strategic mutual trust.

He called on the two countries to expand pragmatic cooperation in line with each other's development strategy and boost balanced development of bilateral trade.

The Chinese government encourages and supports its enterprises to purchase South African products and invest in South Africa, and actively participate in the construction of South Africa's special economic zone, said the president.

On people-to-people exchanges, Hu said the two countries should consolidate the friendship between the two peoples, noting that China supports South Africa's economic and social development and is willing to train more professional and technical personnel for the country.

Hu also called for enhanced coordination between the two countries under the framework of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization(WTO), G20, BRICS and BASIC, so as to promote world peace and development.

Hu said the overall situation in Africa has maintained stable and its integration progress has achieved positive progress.

China attaches great importance to the concern and interests of Africa and is committed to providing assistance to Africa's peace and development within its capacity, he noted.

The Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC is an important meeting to beef up solidarity between China and African countries, he said, adding that China is ready to work with South Africa to advance the construction and development of the forum as well as the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership.

Zuma said South Africa is committed to strengthening relations with China and attaches great importance to bilateral strategic partnership.

Noting that China has become the largest trading partner of South Africa, Zuma said his country hopes to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

South Africa hopes to increase exports to China and welcomes more Chinese investment in its infrastructure construction, industrial zone and mining industry, in order to boost bilateral trade as well as Africa's economic development, said Zuma.

He said South Africa is willing to enhance coordination and cooperation with China on multilateral occasions, including UN and BRICS.

Speaking highly of China-Africa relationship, Zuma said South Africa thanks China for its support and help to Africa and will work with China to ensure the success of the fifth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC.

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