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Spotlight: Xi in South Africa to strengthen bilateral ties, boost China-Africa cooperation

Submit Time:07-12-2015 | Source:English.news.cn | Zoom In | Zoom Out

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Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Wednesday for his second visit to the "rainbow nation" since becoming China's head of state.

Besides meeting with South African leaders in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties, Xi will also co-chair with his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, a summit on China-Africa cooperation in Johannesburg.

The South African side gave Xi a grand welcoming ceremony on Wednesday, during which a 21-gun salute was sounded and the two presidents inspected the guard of honor in front of the imposing Union Buildings, which houses the offices of the presidency.

In their talks after the ceremony, Xi and Zuma discussed ways to further the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two emerging economies, and agreeing to lift bilateral ties to a new height by fully implementing the 5-10 Years Strategic Plan on Cooperation between the two nations.

"With joint efforts of both countries, China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership has seen good momentum with enhanced political trust and increasingly pragmatic cooperation in various fields, which has brought about tangible benefits to the two peoples," said Xi.

STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIP

China and South Africa should strengthen partnership in various aspects, Xi said, calling on the two countries to be forward-looking strategic partners with strong mutual trust, development partners pursuing equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, friendly partners who understand and learn from each other, and global partners who support and coordinate closely with each other.

Highlighting steady bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Zuma welcomed more investment from China and hoped the two sides could promote more fruitful cooperation in such areas as trade, technology, energy, marine products, commercial aviation and financing.

South Africa, Zuma said, encourages people-to-people exchanges, and will strengthen coordination and cooperation with China within the multilateral mechanisms like the United Nations and Group of Twenty (G20), and on major global issues like climate change.

Zuma also expressed his support for China's hosting of the G20 summit, which will take place in the eastern city of Hangzhou on Sept. 4-5 next year.

After their talks, Xi and Zuma also witnessed the signing of documents on cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, culture, science and technology.

A RAINBOW OF FRIENDSHIP

In an article "A Rainbow of Friendship" published on the Star newspaper of South Africa ahead of his visit, Xi said though geographically far apart from each other, the people of China and South Africa have enjoyed a friendship that becomes increasingly solid with the passage of time.

China-South Africa relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope and gained growing strategic significance and global impact, he wrote, noting the two countries stand ready to work together and seize the opportunities and momentum to take their comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights to better serve their peoples.

Xi's visit is hailed by the South African media, which said Africa is ready to learn from the Chinese model of development.

"Some of the key lessons to be learnt from China are how to implement an economic model tailored with the country's characteristics," given Africa's unique development challenges, the Pretoria News said.

EYES ON AFRICA

After his stay in Pretoria, Xi will leave for Johannesburg for a summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), with the theme of "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development."

China will facilitate South Africa's efforts to lead China-Africa cooperation on production capability and promote Africa's industrialization, encourage more financing for South Africa, and support the early launch of the establishment of an African regional center for the New Development Bank for BRICS countries, Xi told Zuma.

The two sides will jointly chart the course of cooperation within the next three years, with an aim to accelerate Africa's industrialization process and help Africa achieve sustainable development, Xi added.

The two-day Johannesburg Summit, starting on Friday, is expected to adopt a declaration and action plan outlining measures aimed at consolidating China-Africa relations.

Mike Danish, a lecturer of International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said that China's establishment of new financing mechanisms such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank was a "clear indication that China wants to assist in the reduction of poverty in Africa."

Through the FOCAC summit, China is expected to send a strong message to the entire world that China and Africa are working together for win-win cooperation and bringing in a new prospect of development for the peoples of both China and Africa, Danish said.

Over the years, Xi said in his signed article, the FOCAC has become a crucial platform for collective dialogue between China and Africa and an effective mechanism for closer practical cooperation. It has greatly boosted the common development of China and Africa and brought real benefits to the Chinese and African people alike.