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China, S Africa to prioritize bilateral ties in foreign policies

2013-03-27 08:35 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

China and South Africa agreed on Tuesday to prioritize bilateral relationship in their respective foreign policies and called for a more equal and balanced global partnership for development.

"Both leaders agreed to make the bilateral relationship a strategic focus and priority in their respective foreign policies," said a joint communique released after a meeting between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma.

Acknowledging the bilateral relationship is among the most vibrant and important relationships each country has, the two leaders pledged to take the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to new heights.

To achieve this, the two sides agreed to further expand and deepen political, economic and trade cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as coordination and communication in regional and international affairs.

Noting with satisfaction that economic and trade cooperation has become an important driving force behind bilateral relations, the two leaders pledged to further strengthen cooperation in the area.

Efforts will be made to encourage further expansion and optimization of the two-way trade, improvement of trade mix, promotion of trade balance and more trade in value-added goods.

Noting that people-to-people exchanges have flourished in recent years and laid a solid foundation for bilateral ties, the two leaders agreed to designate 2014 as the "Year of South Africa" in China and 2015 as the "Year of China" in South Africa.

On the international front, China and South Africa vowed to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and make the international order and system fairer and more equitable.

"The two sides appealed to countries all over the world to establish a more equal and balanced global partnership for development, and address global challenges through unity and cooperation for mutual benefit," the joint communique said.

Meanwhile, the two sides called on the international community to pay more attention to and provide greater support for Africa, respect African countries' efforts to solve regional issues on their own, and help them enhance capability for self-generated growth.

Xi arrived here Monday for a state visit to South Africa, the third leg of his first foreign trip after he assumed Chinese presidency earlier this month.

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