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Chinese, South African presidents meet on bilateral ties

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with South African President Jacob Zuma in Sanya City, south China's Hainan Province, April 13, 2011. Zuma will attend the BRICS Leaders Meeting here on Thursday.

SANYA, Hainan, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma met Wednesday in China's southern Sanya City and exchanged views on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

The two leaders also discussed major world and regional issues of mutual interest during their meeting before Thursday's BRICS summit, which will also gather top leaders from Brazil, India and Russia.

President Hu congratulated South Africa for its joining in the BRICS mechanism and said that China would join hands with other BRICS countries in pushing forward cooperation among the bloc and obtaining new achievements.

It will be the first time for South Africa to attend the BRICS summit.

President Zuma said South Africa's participation in the bloc is conducive not only to his country but also to the whole African continent.

In August 2010, Zuma paid a state visit to China, during which the two countries inked the Beijing Declaration, agreeing to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Hu said China and South Africa had witnessed deepening mutual understanding and trust and maintained close cooperation in major international affairs over the past half year.

Bilateral trade between China and South Africa hit a record high in 2010, and the two countries saw booming reciprocal cooperation in a wide range of sectors from mining, finance, telecommunication, new energy to science and technology, culture, sports and tourism, Hu said.

President Hu said China would like to deepen the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership from the following four aspects:

Firstly, the two countries should intensify high-level exchanges, Hu said.

China and South Africa should take advantage of the official visits to exchange experiences in governance. The two sides should also enhance mutual understanding and support over major issues of core interests so as to serve the common objectives of development, stability and benefit their people.

Secondly, the two countries should deepen their pragmatic cooperation.

Hu said China and South Africa should implement the consensus reached during last year's visits by senior officials. The two sides should deepen their cooperation in areas of infrastructure, mining, energy and agriculture, expand Chinese investment in South Africa and promote the balanced and healthy development of bilateral trade.

Thirdly, the two countries should promote people-to-people exchanges.

China and South Africa should intensify communication and cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, journalism and tourism, Hu said.

Fourthly, the two countries would enhance cooperation on international affairs.

China and South Africa should intensify coordination and cooperation within the major multilateral groupings such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Group of 20 as well as the BRICS, to safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing nations and push the world's political and economic order to become fairer and more reasonable.

Hu said China appreciates South Africa's efforts in preparing for the United Nations Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to be held in Durban at the end of the year. He said China would support South Africa in trying to achieve positive results during the conference and complete the Bali Roadmap talks.

Zuma said South Africa would enhance cooperation with China on various sectors including economy and trade as well as environmental protection, which would help South Africa create more jobs and boost national economy.

He said South Africa hopes to improve communication and cooperation with China under multi-lateral mechanisms like the UN Security Council and coordinate stance on major international issues.

On the Libyan turmoil, Zuma said the top priority at present is to cease fire as soon as possible. He also expressed appreciation to China for its support to the African Union on the issue.

Hu said China is concerned about the humanitarian crisis stemmed from Libya's continuous tension. He reiterated China's stance on the incident, calling on relevant parties to immediately cease fire so as to avoid greater humanitarian disasters caused by the worsening of the situation.

China would support the political efforts made by parties concerned, including the African Union, to ease the tension in Libya and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with South Africa to restore stability in the north African country, Hu said.

BRICS

About the BRICS

In economics, BRICS refers to a group of countries, namely, Brazil, Russia, India and China, four countries with massive potential. They features a similar stage of newly advanced economic development.

The BRIC Leaders