|Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (R) extends his condolence for former South African President Nelson Mandela to Bheki Winston Joshua Langa, South African Ambassador to China, at the South African Embassy in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 6, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)|
BEIJING, Dec. 6 -- Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao on Friday went to the South African Embassy in Beijing to mourn the death of the country's former president, Nelson Mandela.
Li stood in silent tribute in front of a bust of Mandela and signed a book of condolences.
Li said Mandela spent all his life advocating and implementing racial equality and reconciliation. He not only was a hero in the heart of South Africans, but also won global recognition, Li added.
Stressing that Mandela had made great contributions to the establishment and development of friendly cooperation between China and South Africa, Li said his unfortunate death had led Chinese people to lose a close friend.
He expressed deep condolences on behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday that a Chinese leader will attend the ceremonies arranged by South Africa to mourn the passing of Mandela.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have sent messages of condolence to South African President Jacob Zuma to express their heartfelt sympathies.
Mandela, South Africa's first black president, passed away on Thursday evening at his home in Johannesburg following a long illness at the age of 95.