MOSCOW - The Chinese president's upcoming visits to Russia and South Africa will further boost China's partnerships with the two countries, said Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Yang is currently on an official visit to Russia. Before arriving in Moscow, he also visited South Africa where a BRICS summit is to be held in late March.
Over recent years, China-Russia relations have witnessed positive, healthy and stable growth under the guidance of the two countries' leaders, said Yang in a recent interview with Chinese media.
China and Russia share a strong political relationship, as well as a full-fledged mechanism for high-level exchanges and cooperation in other fields, which has given birth to many important achievements, he said.
At a meeting with Yang on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was looking forward to the forthcoming state visit by the Chinese president, and expected that the visit would boost future development of the China-Russia partnership.
During Yang's stay in Moscow, he also met with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
The two men agreed that their two countries should maintain intensive high-level contact, expand consensus, deepen humanistic cooperation, and further strengthen bilateral coordination in international and regional affairs.
When asked in the interview to comment on his South African visit, as well as China's relations with the Africa continent, Yang said South Africa is a key developing country and an emerging economy, whose ties with China since the establishment of diplomatic links 15 years ago have grown all the way to the current status of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
China-South Africa relations now face important opportunities for development, said Yang, adding that the two sides have been actively implementing key agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries, and would further step up high-level contact, deepen pragmatic cooperation so as to make more progress in developing their strategic partnership.
At the invitation of South African President Jacob Zuma, the Chinese president is also going to attend the BRICS summit, the fifth of its kind, in South Africa.
During his visit to South Africa, Yang met with President Zuma and held talks with South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
They agreed to take the Chinese president's visit to South Africa and his attendance at the BRICS summit as an opportunity to further boost China's ties with South Africa and the whole African continent, and to enhance cooperation between the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Yang also said in the interview that developing a friendly and cooperative relationship with Africa is a cornerstone of China's foreign policy. China chooses to do so based on long-term and strategic consideration.
Over the past few years, thanks to common efforts, China and African nations have made accomplishments in developing a new type of strategic partnership, he said.
He added that China-Africa cooperation has made strides and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has become even more mature.
On the BRICS summit, Yang said one of the purposes of his visits was to promote cooperation between China and the related countries, and to ensure the summit a success.
China supports South Africa as the host for the summit, and would like to work with all other BRICS countries in promoting dialogue and cooperation between all emerging market economies, he said.
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