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South Africa and China agree to further enhance co-operation

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- China and South Africa on Sunday agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in face of a complex and changing international landscape.

During a meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country has always viewed its relations with China from a strategic perspective and expects to further strengthen bilateral cooperation under the current complex and changing international circumstances.

For his part, Wang said that at a time when socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and South Africa’s national development has entered a new stage, China-South Africa relations are presented with a historic opportunity that is inheriting the past and ushering in the future.

The two sides should strengthen coordination, enhance strategic mutual trust and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, Wang said.

Faced with an international landscape that is undergoing complicated changes, their comprehensive strategic partnership should not only safeguard the common interests of the two countries and those of developing countries at large, but also strive to be more pragmatic, more effective and to bring more benefits to the people, said the Chinese state councilor.

Wang stressed that China firmly supports South Africa in its endeavor to grow and become stronger, which is not only in line with South Africa’s interests, but also will be conducive to the strengthening of the power of developing countries at large.

During their meeting, Ramaphosa asked Wang to convey his warm greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying that the whole country welcomes President Xi to come to South Africa in July to attend the BRICS Summit and pay a state visit to the country.

It is believed that the visit will surely be successful and provide a new opportunity for and inject strong impetus into the deepening of South Africa-China comprehensive strategic partnership, said Ramaphosa.

South Africa will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy, said Ramaphosa, adding that he is pleased his country will be the only guest of honor from Africa at the China International Import Expo to be held in Shanghai in November.

Wang conveyed President Xi’s warm greetings to President Ramaphosa, noting that this year is of great significance in China-South Africa relations and China-Africa cooperation.

Wang said the two sides should take President Xi’s visit to South Africa and President Ramaphosa’s visit to China as an opportunity, and support each other in ensuring the success of the BRICS Summit hosted by South Africa and the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) hosted by China, in order to advance China-South Africa relations into a new stage and lift China-Africa cooperation to a new level.

Wang also held talks with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu on Monday.



Chinese, South African FMs meet over bilateral ties

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu here on Monday to discuss closer bilateral relations.

During the meeting, Wang said that since China and South Africa established diplomatic relations 20 years ago, relations between the two sides have sustained a sound momentum of growth.

The connotations of China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership exceed the bilateral scope and have acquired growing global influence, he said.

The Chinese minister called for efforts to strengthen strategic communication and political mutual trust between the two countries so as to make bilateral cooperation more pragmatic, more effective and bring more benefits to the people.

Noting that South Africa will host the BRICS summit in July and China will host the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September, Wang expressed the hope that the two sides will enhance coordination and support each other to ensure that the two major events will be completely successful.

China welcomes South Africa to attend the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in Shanghai in November, attaches importance to the “new investment drive” proposed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and will encourage its enterprises to participate in the upcoming Investment Conference and Jobs Summit in the African country, Wang said.

For her part, Sisulu noted that South Africa highly values the friendship with China and attaches importance to their comprehensive strategic partnership.

The new South African government is committed to further elevating bilateral cooperation to a new height while building on their existing friendly relations, Sisulu said.

South Africa eagerly looks forward to President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the BRICS summit in South Africa and state visit to the country, said Sisulu, adding that her country will coordinate with China closely to make sure that the visit will be completely successful and score practical results.

She also said that South Africa thanks China for its strong support to the African country in hosting the BRICS summit this year and stands ready to coordinate with China to ensure that both the BRICS summit and the FOCAC Beijing summit will be successful.

Sisulu also reaffirmed her country’s firm adherence to the one-China principle and expressed the willingness to further deepen economic and trade cooperation with China. 


China’s top diplomat calls for pragmatic cooperation among BRICS countries

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called for pragmatic cooperation among the five BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Speaking here at the Formal Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Wang said that, as Chinese President Xi Jinping has put it, the BRICS are like five fingers, each with its own strength; when the BRICS come together, we form a fist that can punch.

Faced with the complex changes in the international landscape, the BRICS countries should firmly stick to the political direction of BRICS cooperation, and send out a powerful message of consolidating unity and cooperation, seeking common development, upholding multilateralism and defending international fairness and justice at the upcoming BRICS summit to be held next month in Johannesburg, he said.

The Chinese state councilor urged the BRICS to deepen pragmatic economic cooperation in order to advance the common development of the five countries.

He also called for political and security cooperation among the BRICS countries to defend international fairness and justice.

Wang also called for efforts to expand the BRICS’ cultural and people-to-people exchanges so as to beef up the foundation of their solidarity and coordination.

He also said that the BRICS should continuously expand the circle of friends with the “BRICS plus” model, which is focused on strengthening dialogue and cooperation between BRICS countries and other emerging markets and developing countries.

The Chinese state councilor expressed belief that with the BRICS’ concerted efforts, the upcoming BRICS Summit in Johannesburg will surely achieve fruitful outcomes and usher in a good start for the BRICS’ second “golden decade.”


FOCAC Beijing summit to elevate China-Africa ties to a new level: Chinese FM

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday expressed belief that the upcoming Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will elevate China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership to a new level.

The Chinese top diplomat, who is attending the Formal Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs here, answered a question raised by the media about the FOCAC Beijing summit to be held in September.

He pointed out that as the key platform for the collective dialogue and cooperation between China and African countries, the forum has already become a model of South-South cooperation and a banner of international cooperation with Africa.

During the past six years when South Africa has been serving as co-chair of the forum, China and South Africa have been closely coordinating and actively promoting the development of the forum mechanism so as to advance China-Africa solidarity and cooperation, Wang said.

After South Africa successfully hosted the FOCAC Johannesburg summit in December 2015, efforts to implement the outcomes have been carried out smoothly with tangible and effective results, he said.

“In keeping with the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we are now making all efforts to advance the preparatory work for the Beijing summit,” Wang said.

The work related to the invitation of African leaders to attend the summit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been completed and most African leaders have confirmed their attendance, he said.

The Chinese councilor said that in light of the new changes in the international situation and the new demand for growth on the African continent, the summit will unveil new measures to step up China-Africa cooperation across the board.

“We expect that the African leaders will gather in Beijing to elevate China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership to a new level,” he said.

It is believed that with the joint efforts by China and African countries, the FOCAC Beijing Summit will surely be another historic event to strengthen China-Africa solidarity and cooperation, he added.


BRICS should step up collective efforts for global peace, development: China

PRETORIA South Africa (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called for more collective efforts by the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - to promote global peace and stability.

Wang made the appeal at the Formal Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which was presided over by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and also attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Brazil’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Galvao.

The top agenda of the foreign ministers’ meeting is to lay the groundwork for the 10th BRICS summit to be held in Johannesburg in July.

In his remarks, the Chinese foreign minister pointed out that the world is witnessing unprecedented changes in a century.

Under the circumstances, the BRICS should demonstrate an even broader strategic vision, more powerful collective efforts and a stronger will to shoulder responsibilities to bring more welfare to the people and make greater contribution to world peace and development, he said.

Wang said that the BRICS should serve as the powerful engine of global economic growth, providing a lasting driving force.

They should make joint efforts to build an open world economy, oppose trade protectionism and unilateralism, and safeguard common interests and development space, he said.

The BRICS should be the central pillar of strength providing powerful underlying support for world peace and stability, he stressed.

In light of the current situation, the BRICS should especially jointly stick to multilateralism and uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and maintain international fairness and justice, he said.

He also called on the BRICS to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges and actively promote exchanges and cooperation with non-BRICS emerging markets and developing countries so as to enlarge the circle of friends and strengthen the BRICS’ influence and appeal.

Participants at the meeting spoke highly of the remarkable progress achieved in the past decade of BRICS cooperation, and highly appreciated China’s important contribution to BRICS cooperation after it served as chair last year.

As the international landscape is undergoing complicated changes, they said, the BRICS should further strengthen coordination and cooperation, deepen strategic partnership, jointly stick to multilateralism, oppose unilateralism and protectionism and maintain the fundamental norms of international relations.

They also pledged all-out efforts to support and coordinate with South Africa in the preparations for the 10th BRICS summit to ensure its success.


South Africa to initiate process to sign Africa’s free trade treaty

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa’s Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Bulelani Magwanishe on Monday said his country will soon initiate a process to sign African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This follows the the conclusion of the annexes to the protocol on trade in goods and to the protocol on dispute settlement.

“The conclusion of this work enables South Africa to rapidly commence domestic processes for signature of the AfCFTA,” said Magwanishe.

The AfCFTA will create an integrated market in Africa for 1 billion people with a gross domestic product of about 3.3 trillion U.S. dollars. This will create larger economies of scale, a bigger market and improve the prospects of the African continent to attract investment, he said.

Magwanishe said South Africa is committed to Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).

Two of Africa’s biggest economies South Africa and Nigeria have not yet signed the AfCFTA, which was inked by 43 African countries on March 21.

Magwanishe said South Africa will now follow the internal process leading to the signing of the agreement.



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