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Priorities for China-South Africa Bilateral Cooperation
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China and South Africa issued a joint communiqué on Tuesday establishing a framework for the two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in terms of politics, economy and trade, international affairs and personnel interaction. 


The communiqué was released following talks in Pretoria between Chinese President Hu Jintao and his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki.


Hu had arrived in Pretoria earlier in the day from Namibia starting his three-day state visit to South Africa.


The communiqué stated both China and South Africa's intentions to develop relations under the guidance of the four principles agreed upon by the top leaders of both countries.


The four principles are as follows: a broadening of political mutual trust and strategic consultation; the bolstering of economic cooperation and trade; an enhancement of coordination and cooperation through diplomatic consultations; and the strengthening of cultural and personnel interaction.


The mutually-agreed steps to be taken for the improving of bilateral cooperation in the afore-mentioned priority areas include:


-- Maintain high-level contacts and an exchange of views on bilateral relations and global issues of mutual interest in a wide-ranging context so as to build trust.


The two sides will "actively promote a positive image of the warm relations that exists between China and Africa and work toward dispelling any other negative reporting and perceptions in this regard."


 -- Foster the growth of bilateral trade in a balanced and mutually beneficial trade environment. Strengthen consultation on bilateral trade issues in a spirit of fairness and equality.


The Chinese side will employ the China-Africa Development Fund to actively encourage Chinese companies to invest in South Africa. South Africa will repay this favor by inviting Chinese companies to take advantage of investment opportunities that its growing economy and favorable environment offer.


China's support will extend to aiding South Africa with human resources development, poverty eradication, job creation, rural development and the creation of infrastructure.


-- Maintain communication and collaboration in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other international organizations, and fully coordinate on major issues such as development and poverty reduction, regional conflicts, international dialogue and the formulation of multilateral trade rules.


Both nations will promote a new strategic partnership between China and Africa under the guidance of the Declaration of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation-Beijing Action Plan.


-- The two sides will agree on an appropriate program of cultural, economic, social, sportive, diplomatic and academic events during 2008 to celebrate 10 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China.


In the communiqué, South Africa reaffirmed its commitment to the one China policy, recognizing the government of the People's Republic of China as "the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China" and that Taiwan is "an inalienable part of the Chinese territory."


South Africa is the sixth leg of Hu's eight-nation African tour, which has already seen him visit Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia and Namibia. He will also visit Mozambique and the Seychelles.


(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2007)

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