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Chinese, S. African Presidents Stress Partnership
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President Hu Jintao and South African President Thabo Mbeki agreed in Beijing on Monday the two countries would work together to promote development of a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership and enhance coordination and collaboration in international affairs.


Bilateral relations have maintained all-round and rapid development since China and South Africa established diplomatic ties nine years ago, Hu said during talks with Mbeki Monday morning at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.


"The two sides have established strategic partnership and our cooperation has been fruitful in politics, trade and economy, science and technology, culture, education, tourism and human resources," he said, adding that the two countries have also collaborated closely in major regional and international issues.


The two presidents reached extensive consensus on enhancing their countries' long-term and stable strategic partnership on the basis of equality, mutual benefits and common development.


"It serves the fundamental interest of the two countries and peoples. It is conducive to world peace and development, too," he said.


Hu made four proposals to that effect.


"Firstly, we should enhance political trust and strategic consultation; maintain the momentum of high-level contacts; fully exploit the roles of bilateral exchange mechanism and promote all- round reciprocal cooperation," he said.


Secondly, Hu proposed the two countries to take their respective advantages and bring trade and economic cooperation to a new level. "We should encourage and support two-way investment, optimize trade structure and ensure the sound and smooth development of bilateral trade," he said.


Thirdly, China and Africa need to carry out diplomatic consultation and enhance coordination and collaboration.


"The Chinese side supports South Africa's efforts in promoting unity and cooperation among the developing countries," Hu said. "We are willing to enhance communication and exchanges with South Africa, intensify coordination and collaboration on the UN affairs and work together to maintain the legitimate rights and interest of the developing countries."


Fourthly, Hu proposed the two countries increase humanistic exchanges so as to cement the social foundation for the development of China-Africa ties. "We hope the two sides expand exchanges and cooperation in diverse sectors including education, human resources, health, culture, sports, academics, media and tourism."


The Chinese president also voiced appreciation for South Africa's adherence to the one-China policy and active support to China's reunification.


Mbeki, who arrived Friday for a state visit at Hu's invitation, was among 41 African heads of state or government and senior officials from 48 African countries that have established diplomatic ties with China at the landmark Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.


The forum, the highest-profile gathering between Chinese and African leaders, concluded Sunday after a declaration and an action plan for 2007-2009 had been adopted.


South Africa established diplomatic relations with China on January 1, 1998. The two countries established a strategic partnership focusing on equality, mutual benefit and common development in 2004.


(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2006)

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