After Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Russia and South Africa, he talked to the media about the trips.
Q: How was your visit to South Africa? What is your view of China-Africa relations?
A: South Africa is a major developing country and emerging market. Over the past 15 years since China and South Africa established diplomatic ties, our bilateral relations, which have been elevated from a partnership to a strategic partnership and then to the current comprehensive strategic partnership, have produced fruitful results. During his visit to China last year, President Zuma and President Hu Jintao reached an important agreement on further growing China-South Africa relations. At present, this relationship enjoys new major opportunities for development. The two sides are working actively to implement the important agreement between our two presidents, further increase high-level exchanges and deepen pragmatic cooperation so as to ensure steady progress in the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa.
South Africa will host the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting at the end of March. President Zuma has invited the president of China to attend the meeting and pay a state visit to South Africa. My visit this time is mainly to make further preparations for this important visit.
During my visit, I met with the president and had talks with Foreign Minister Nkoana-Mashabane. The two sides had in-depth exchanges and reached broad agreement on issues including the Chinese president's visit to South Africa and attendance at the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting. The two sides agreed to take the Chinese president's participation in the meeting and visit to South Africa as an important opportunity to further deepen relations between China and South Africa and between China and Africa as a whole and strengthen cooperation among the BRICS countries.
To develop friendly and cooperative relations with African countries serves as a bedrock of China's foreign policy and is a long-term and firm strategic choice made by China. In recent years, thanks to the concerted efforts of China and Africa, major progress has been made in developing a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. Cooperation has flourished in a wide range of areas and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is heading toward greater maturity.
During the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC held in Beijing last July, China announced new measures to be taken in the next three years to step up practical cooperation with Africa. South Africa is the co-chair of FOCAC. China is ready to work with African countries to faithfully follow up on the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference and work for win-win outcomes in China-Africa cooperation.
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