|Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun Meets with South Africa Press Delegation|
On October 30, 2007, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun met with the South Africa press delegation composed of senior journalists of media including the South African Broadcasting Corporation. He introduced to them the development of China's relations with South Africa and Africa and answered their questions on the scientific concept of development, Beijing Olympic Games and Sudan Darfur issue.
Talking about China-South Africa relations, Zhai noted that the people of the two countries enjoy profound traditional friendship. The Chinese people extended resolute support to the South African people during their fight against apartheid. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties nearly 10 years ago between China and South Africa, the bilateral relations have maintained stable progress with frequent exchanges of high-level visit, increasing political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in various fields. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. China attaches great importance to developing relations with South Africa and is willing to continue to strengthen the bilateral exchanges and cooperation in all fields and push forward the bilateral strategic partnership.
As to China-Africa relations, Zhai stressed that China values its relations with Africa very much. It is a major component of China's independent foreign policy of peace to strengthen the solidarity and cooperation with African countries. The Chinese government is committed to advancing its relations with Africa in the principles of sincerity and friendship, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, mutual support and common development. The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held November last year marks a milestone in the history of China-Africa relations. Since the beginning of this year, Chinese leaders including President Hu Jintao have paid visits to Africa to promote the comprehensive implementation of the outcome of Beijing Summit, which demonstrates the aspiration of the Chinese government to fulfill its commitment and support Africa's development efforts sincerely. With the joint efforts of both sides, the follow-up activities of the Summit have been carried out steadily with great achievements. In particular, the laying down of foundation for the Africa Union Headquarters Center which will be built with assistance from China and the launch of China-Africa Development Fund have drawn extensive attention and been recognized widely.
On the Sudan Darfur issue, Zhai emphasized that China suggests taking the following three steps to solve the issue. First, to promote national reconciliation in the Darfur region and solve the Darfur issue through political ways; second, to deploy UN peacekeeping force in Darfur and implement the three-stage plan of Annan; third, the international community should provide Darfur with humanitarian and development assistance for the reconstruction and development of the region. The efforts made by China to solve the Darfur issue are obvious to all. China has played a constructive role in this regard. Zhai said that China sincerely hopes south and north Sudan implement the peace agreement faithfully and realize national reconciliation so as to achieve comprehensive peace, stability and development in Sudan at the earliest date possible.