China and South Africa have pledged to continue their traditional friendly relations and advance their comprehensive strategic partnership.
During talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, the two leaders agreed to strengthen high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, align their development strategies, promote practical cooperation and increase people-to-people exchanges, thus enabling the two enjoy more fruits of the bilateral cooperation.
Xi said that China-South Africa relations have leapt from a partnership to a strategic partnership and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership over the past years, bringing tangible benefits to the two countries. He also expressed appreciation to Ramaphosa for his important contributions to the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and to the development of bilateral relations.
Speaking further, Xi said: “Taking the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties, China stands ready to work with South Africa on supporting each other in hosting this year’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg and the Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), inheriting the past and ushering in the future, and pushing for more outcomes from the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, so as to bring greater benefits to our two peoples”.
BRICS is an alliance of the world’s five major emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). On the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg on July 25-27, Xi said that it is the first one to be held in the second “golden decade” of BRICS cooperation and has a special significance.
“We should bear in mind the big picture of BRICS cooperation, constantly cement our strategic partnerships, make a loud and clear voice on upholding multilateralism, and jointly build an open world economy,” Xi said, while pledging to coordinate with and support South Africa for a successful BRICS summit.
For his part, Ramaphosa said that South African and Chinese peoples enjoy traditional friendship, and the two countries have constantly consolidated and developed their relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago.
Ramaphosa said that it is in the fundamental and long-term interests of South Africa to continue to strengthen political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, enhance scientific, technological and people-to-people exchanges with China, and promote their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Xi and Ramaphosa will co-chair the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing summit in September. Hailing the contributions that South Africa has made for the institutionalization of the FOCAC and friendly cooperation between China and Africa as co-chair of the forum, Xi said that China looks forward to discussing with African countries on plans to promote China-Africa friendly cooperation in the new era and jointly build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
“It is China’s long-term and firm strategic choice to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries,” he said.
Xi arrived in Pretoria on Monday to pay his third state visit to the “rainbow nation.”
South Africa is the fourth stop of Xi’s five-nation Middle East and Africa tour, which has taken him to the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Rwanda. He will also visit Mauritius during a stopover.