China pledges firm support to African development
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on Monday, vowing to deepen cooperation with South Africa and support peace and development in Africa.
Zuma is in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen for the ninth BRICS summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries from Sunday to Tuesday.
Xi said the China-South Africa relationship is "at its best in history." He also noted the strong development momentum in the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides in recent years.
He said China is ready to strengthen coordination with South Africa and expand the partnership with more achievements in cooperation to pursue common development.
"China intends to work with South Africa to implement the Belt and Road Initiative and the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and to deepen cooperation in an all-round way and advance bilateral relations to a new level," Xi said.
He called for mutual understanding and support on core interests and major concerns, as well as consolidation of political trust.
Xi said that stronger cooperation was needed in various sectors, including marine economy, industrial production, culture, science and technology, health care and tourism.
People-to-people exchanges and celebrations should be organized to mark the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa next year, he said.
Xi also called for more coordination in international and regional organizations, including BRICS, the G20, the United Nations and the African Union.
"China and South Africa have maintained close communication and cooperation within the BRICS framework, and China will work closely with South Africa which will hold the presidency of the bloc next year," Xi said.
Xi said China and Africa are a community of shared future and common interests, which have gone through thick and thin together.
"Regardless of changes in the international situation, China will unswervingly work with Africa for win-win cooperation and common development, and resolutely support peace and development in Africa," Xi said. "China supports Africa's capacity building in peace-keeping."
Xi said that China intends to better combine the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Africa cooperation plans set forth at the FOCAC Johannesburg summit with the AU's Agenda 2063.
Zuma said his country stands ready to deepen cooperation with China.
South Africa and China will support each other in hosting the BRICS summit this year and next year, Zuma said, adding that the South Africa-China comprehensive strategic partnership is robust and full of vitality.
He said that the two countries had seen positive outcomes in cooperation in economic, trade, investment, infrastructure and cultural areas, and maintained close coordination on multilateral issues.