Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) and South Africa's President Thabo
Mbeki touch a crystal ball to launch the China South Africa economic trade
and cooperation website at the Union building in Pretoria February 6,
PRETORIA/WINDHOEK: Visiting President Hu Jintao and his South African
counterpart Thabo Mbeki yesterday held talks on closer bilateral ties as well as
international and regional issues.
In a written statement issued upon his arrival earlier in the day, Hu said
that he would have an in-depth exchange of views with Mbeki and other South
"I am visiting South Africa to build on our past success to further deepen
our cooperation and grow our bilateral relations in all areas," he said.
leader said his visit would contribute to "further advancing the China-South
Africa strategic partnership".
The two leaders were to later witness the signing of cooperation deals and
meet the press, according to the schedule.
Before their talks, Hu was extended a red-carpet welcome by Mbeki.
Today, the Chinese president will deliver a speech at the University of
China and South Africa established diplomatic ties in 1998 and relations have
developed rapidly since then.
The two countries have established a strategic partnership and cooperated
fruitfully in politics, trade, the economy, science, technology, culture,
education, tourism and human resources.
In the first 11 months of 2006, bilateral trade volume reached $8.83 billion,
an increase of 34.5 percent compared with the same period of 2005.
South Africa is the sixth leg of Hu's eight-nation African tour, which has
taken him to Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia and Namibia. He will also visit
Mozambique and the Seychelles.
The Chinese president capped his visit to Namibia on Tuesday with a joint
communique in which the two countries promised to further boost economic and
The document, signed at the end of Hu's two-day visit, said that he and his
Namibia counterpart, Hifikepunye Pohamba, believe China-Namibia economic
cooperation and trade "enjoy great potential for further growth".
The two leaders, who held talks on Monday, agreed to work together to
strengthen cooperation in areas such as mining, agriculture, tourism,
manufacturing and human resources development, according to the communique.
The two countries signed five documents for cooperation in such fields as the
economy, technology, human resources, education and tourism.
"The two governments will continue to encourage their business people to
increase contacts and expand cooperation and will create conditions to
facilitate two-way trade and investment," the communique said.
(China Daily 02/07/2007 page2)