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President Xi's South Africa visit reaffirms importance of relationship

By ZHANG YUNBI | | Updated: 2023-08-23 19:42
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President Xi Jinping, who is in South Africa on a state visit and for the 15th BRICS Summit, shakes hands with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday. HUANG JINGWEN/XINHUA

President Xi Jinping's state visit to South Africa "fully reflects the importance China attaches to the development of China-South Africa and China-Africa relations", said Wu Peng, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of African Affairs.

The visit is a complete success and injects fresh momentum into the development of the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership, he said at a media briefing hosted by the press center of the Chinese delegation in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-South Africa diplomatic relations.

Over the past 25 years, the relationship has realized a great leap forward in growth and it is "increasingly significant in strategic and global contexts", Wu said.

Especially in recent years, China-South Africa relations have stepped into a "Golden Age", he added.

The two sides will further deepen synergy of their development strategies, strengthen cooperation in infrastructure construction, energy transformation, poverty reduction and other areas, jointly explore new growth points in cooperation and adhere to the paths of modernization suited with their own national conditions, he said.

China supports South Africa's hosting the summit and is ready to "jointly advance BRICS' membership expansion and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries", he added.

A long list of outcomes and a detailed joint statement were issued during the state visit.

The cooperative documents signed by the two sides cover areas such as the Belt and Road Initiative, new energy and electricity, agricultural products, special economic zones and industrial parks, blue economy, science and technology innovation and higher education.

In the joint statement issued by the two governments, the two countries said they will work together to "actively build a quality China-South Africa community".

They vowed to continue to support each other on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns and "enhance cooperation in international affairs and multilateral institutions", Wu said.

For its part, China pledged to continue to support South Africa in addressing energy security challenges and expressed support for South Africa's chairmanship of the BRICS this year.

South Africa reiterated its firm adherence to the one-China policy, saying "the Chinese path to modernization offers many lessons", and it applauded China for its leadership role in promoting peaceful global cooperation.

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