Top Chinese legislator starts visit to SA

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cape Town - China's top legislator Wu Bangguo arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday, starting an official goodwill visit to South Africa at the invitation of the Speaker of South Africa's National Assembly, Max Sisulu.

In a written statement issued upon his arrival, Wu - chairman of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and China's top legislature - hailed the China-South Africa relationship as having advanced in an all-round way since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1998.

The two countries, both on a fast developing trajectory, have developed deeper political trust, achieved fruitful results in the bilateral cooperation and become very important partners on regional and international issues, Wu said.

In recent years, frequent high-level exchanges have deepened their strategic partnership. Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao and top political advisor Jia Qinglin paid their visits to South Africa in 2007, 2006 and 2011 respectively.

During the last 10 years, the two countries have obtained remarkable achievements in cooperation in economy and trade. In 2009, bilateral trade volume between the two countries stood at $16.1 billion.

In 2009, the two countries also signed more than 50 cooperation agreements, covering nuclear energy, science and technology, health, culture, tourism and other fields.

Wu said China will cement its cooperation with South Africa based on equality, mutual benefit and common development, which will also help boost regional and world peace and development.

During his stay in Cape Town, Wu will hold talks with Sisulu, and meet President Jacob Zuma and chairman of the National Council of Provinces, Mninwa Mahlangu. Wu will also deliver a keynote speech at the National Assembly and then travel to Pretoria to meet Zuma.

South Africa is the third leg of Wu's Africa-Asia tour, which has already taken him to Namibia and Angola.

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