Peking University makes President Zuma honorary professor

Friday, July 20, 2012

The title, which does not come with any commitments or obligations for the President, is also in recognition of his role in the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa, said the institution.

Zuma said the conferment was a symbol of the confidence the Chinese have in South Africa as an emerging country of the South, as well as a partner in the pursuit of a just international order.

He said the work of Peking University confirmed that China was a country inspired by the zest for knowledge through education.

"We are inspired by the value attached to education in the analects of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, who stressed the importance of education and study as being fundamental to human progress," he said in his acceptance speech.

Zuma, who is in Beijing for the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), also met with Premier Wen Jiabao, where they pledged to advance China-South Africa ties and further deepen China-Africa cooperation.

Zuma said his current visit and participation in the FOCAC meeting have yielded important results and had far-reaching significance.

The two agreed on proposals to advance economic and trade cooperation between Africa and China.

The President added that South Africa was ready to work with China to fully promote bilateral ties and Africa-China cooperation to a new level.

Wen said the international financial crisis has brought new challenges for China and Africa, but also "has enhanced our resolution and strength to make united efforts".

China will closely coordinate with African countries and implement the new measures announced on Thursday by President Hu Jintao at the opening ceremony of the fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation, so as to benefit the peoples of China and Africa and promote world peace and stability, said Wen.

On China-Africa cooperation, Wen called for new methods and new thinking in order to improve quality and efficiency.

He called for following a government-guided, business-led and market-driven approach for win-win progress, and further improving Africa's production and living conditions, scaling up personnel training and technology transfer and helping African countries improve their self-development capacity in conducting Sino-African cooperation.

Both sides needed to further open their markets to each other, optimise trade and investment structure and adopt feasible mid- and long-term plans, so as to ensure cooperation sustainable, he said.

South Africa, which is the largest economy in Africa, is China's largest trade partner on the continent.

The two countries already enjoy great potential in trade and economic cooperation.

China has shown willingness to work with South Africa on balancing bilateral trade, enhancing infrastructure construction and manufacturing industry and high-tech cooperation, so as to inject new vitality into the development of China-South Africa relations.

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