|Chinese, South African leaders agree to deepen bilateral relations|
NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma agreed here on Tuesday to deepen bilateral relations and boost cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
During his meeting with Zuma in New York on the sidelines of a series of UN conferences, Hu said relations between China and South Africa have enjoyed comprehensive and rapid development since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1998.
There have been frequent high-level contacts, increasingly enhanced mutual political trust, and deepened cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, culture, education, science and technology, health and tourism, Hu said.
The two nations have maintained close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, and China and South Africa have become important strategic partners, he said.
During Zuma's visit to China in June last year, the two sides reached a wide-ranging consensus on many important issues, charting the course for further development of relations between the two countries and the two ruling parties, said the Chinese president.
The two sides have rendered support to each other on issues concerning their major interests, and have strengthened consultation and cooperation on international and regional issues like the global financial crisis and climate change, he said.
The countries have made efforts to tap the potential for economic and trade cooperation, actively promoted bilateral trade and investment, and supported each other in their respective fight against the impact of the financial crisis, Hu said.
Both China and South Africa are important developing countries, and to further consolidate and develop relations between the two countries conforms to the fundamental interests of the two nations and two peoples, and is beneficial to the promotion of cooperation between China and South Africa and among other developing countries, he said.
Under the new circumstances, the Chinese side is ready to continue to work with South Africa to establish close high-level contacts, expand economic and trade cooperation, enrich cultural exchanges, boost cooperation in multilateral areas, deepen the China-South Africa strategic partnership, and to realize the common development of both countries, he said.
China welcomes South Africa's participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, which is scheduled to open in May 2010, and wishes the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by South Africa a success, said the Chinese president.
The president said that China has always attached importance to Africa, and to enhance its solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been a key pillar in China's foreign policy.
Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, China's confidence in and determination of developing friendly cooperation with African countries have not changed, and China will not reduce its aid to Africa, Hu said.
China is willing to strengthen communication and conduct close cooperation with African countries, including South Africa, to ensure the fourth ministerial conference of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation, which is to be held in Egypt in November, a success, so as to push forward China-Africa cooperation to a higher level, he said.
Hu said the upcoming financial summit of the Group of 20 (G20) in Pittsburgh is an important meeting by the international community to tackle the global financial crisis, and the Chinese side is willing to enhance coordination with South Africa to make sure that the meeting will produce more tangible results.
On climate change, Hu said both China and South Africa advocate that the international community should follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities to jointly tackle the global issue.
The Chinese side stands ready to enhance communication and coordination with South Africa to maintain the solidarity of developing countries, and to press developed nations to fulfill their obligations and commitments, so as to play a due role in making the Copenhagen conference a success, he said.
For his part, Zuma fully agreed with the Chinese president on his views on bilateral relations. Zuma said the bilateral relationship was of strategic significance.
The South African president said the two countries enjoyed wide-ranging common interests on major issues, and South Africa was willing to further develop its relations with China.
South Africa will boost cooperation with China in a variety of fields, promote bilateral trade relations, conduct consultations and coordination with China on major global issues, including the financial crisis and climate change, he said.
South Africa will play an active role in promoting China-Africa relations, and will take part in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, Zuma said.