Chinese, South African presidents hold talks to cement partnership
PRETORIA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, held talks here Wednesday, discussing ways to further the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two emerging economies.
During the talks, the two heads of state agreed to lift bilateral ties to a new height by fully implementing the 5-10 Years Strategic Plan on Cooperation between the two nations and co-chairing the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Prior to the talks, Zuma hosted a 21-gun salute welcome ceremony at the Union Buildings for Xi, who arrived in Pretoria just hours ago for a state visit to South Africa. It is Xi's second visit to the "rainbow nation" as China's head of state.
"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.
China and South Africa should strengthen partnership in various aspects, Xi noted, 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.
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, said Xi.
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 his stay in Pretoria, Xi will leave for Johannesburg to co-chair with Zuma the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC, with the theme of "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development".
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 said.
The summit is believed to be a historic event that will help strengthen China-Africa solidarity and usher China-Africa win-win cooperation and common 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.
After their talks, Xi and Zuma also witnessed the signing of documents on cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, culture, science and technology.