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China, S. Africa Sign 13 Cooperation Agreements
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Thirteen agreements on cooperation in a wide range of fields including politics, economy, trade, defense, agriculture, technology and sciences were signed by China and South Africa yesterday. 


The most important is considered to be the pact on deepening the strategic partnership between the two developing giants, which was signed by visiting Premier Wen Jiabao and South African President Thabo Mbeki. 


Wen announced that China will give 20 million yuan (about US$2.5 million) assistance to South Africa for training in various skills. 


Wen arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon for a two-day official visit to South Africa on the fifth leg of his seven-African nation tour. 


"I'm visiting South Africa to strengthen bilateral friendship, enhance political trust, expand cooperation for mutual benefit and promote common development," he said. 


Reviewing bilateral relations of the past eight years Wen said at a press conference that China is satisfied with the progress in various types of cooperation with South Africa.


However, he said, it's just the start of a 10,000-mile long march in such bilateral relations, which are in the fundamental interests of both countries.


Mbeki also expressed his satisfaction on South Africa's relations with China. He said, "Both governments are indeed committed to cooperation in all fields." 


Mbeki expressed his appreciation over the Chinese assistance and said with it "we can meet our challenges."


Wen will also hold talks with political figures on bilateral and international issues, meet local entrepreneurs and attend a forum on Sino-South African trade and investment today.


(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2006)

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