SA, China push for stronger ties

China and South Africa have committed to deepen cooperation, while supporting peace and development in Africa.

This follows a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on Monday.

President Zuma is in the southeastern Chinese coastal city of Xiamen for the 9th BRICS Summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries from Sunday to Tuesday.

President Xi said the China-South Africa relationship is "at its best in history”. He 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,” said President Xi.

President Zuma said South Africa stands ready to deepen cooperation with China. The two countries have seen positive outcomes in cooperation in economic, trade, investment, infrastructure and cultural areas, and have maintained close coordination in multilateral issues.

South Africa and China will support each other in hosting the BRICS Summit this year and next year, President Zuma said, adding that the South Africa-China comprehensive strategic partnership is robust and full of vitality.

The two leaders also emphasized the need to boost people-to-people exchanges, especially with the upcoming 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa next year.

They also called for more coordination in international and regional organisations 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," President Xi said. - Xinhua