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Zuma in China for state visit


President Jacob Zuma has arrived in China on August 23 for a state visit.


The visit, from August 24 to 26, was intended to strengthen and broaden economic and commercial interaction between the two countries, and expand South-South interaction with a view to strengthening the voice of the developing world and its capacity to address the needs of its people, among other things.


It also aimed to demonstrate appreciation for the importance South Africa attached to its political, economic and cultural relationship with China.


A number of agreements and memorandums of understanding would be signed during the visit.


These included a declaration on the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership, and memorandums of understanding on co-operation in the fields of geology and mineral resources, environment management, transport and related matters, and railways and related matters.


Zuma was expected to pay courtesy calls on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping, and Chairperson of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo.


A business seminar, with over 200 SA business leaders and entrepreneurs would also be held in Beijing to further enhance and strengthen economic co-operation.


Zuma was expected to also witness the signing of business contracts between South African and Chinese companies.


On August 26, Zuma would visit Shanghai, China's business hub, to view the South African Pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo.


The expo was opened on May 1 and would continue until October 2010 31, with over 100 million visitors so far.


South Africa's trade relations with China had expanded dramatically since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1998, with trade statistics reflecting continuing that the potential that still existed for expanding the commercial relationship.


China became South Africa's largest export destination by country since the start of 2009, and on the import side, China remained South Africa's largest partner.

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