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China to Enhance Relations with South Africa: Ambassador
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China will boost its relations with South Africa by signing a number of accords and agreements during the forthcoming visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa said in Pretoria on Monday.


Ambassador Liu Guijin said in a news briefing that China would make further large financial contributions to South Africa's ASGISA (Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa) program during President Hu's state visit to the country.


Specifically, he said, China will make a donation of 20 million yuan (about US$2.6 million) to South Africa as part of efforts to help the country in skill training and poverty alleviation.


"We are ready to donate money to Asgisa programs that provides training, capacity building and agricultural development which will create more jobs," Liu told reporters in Pretoria.


The ambassador said that China will also help South Africa establish an agricultural technology demonstration center, adding that more details would be made public during the president's visit.


Hu is expected in South Africa between February 6 and 8 for an official state visit. South Africa is one stop on an eight country African tour that also includes Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and the Seychelles.


In South Africa he would meet with President Thabo Mbeki and also address students at the University of Pretoria. Hu is also expected to meet with leaders of the Chinese community and business sector.


Liu Guijin said that President Hu's state visit to South Africa is of great importance and significance and will surely push the strategic partnership between the two countries to a higher level.


"Both China and South Africa attach great importance to this visit and are working closely to make preparations for the event," he added.


"Next year will be the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the visit of President Hu will open the prelude of the celebrations," said the ambassador.


(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2007)


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