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Chinese vice president lauds ties with South Africa

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (L) meets with South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe in Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 17, 2010. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

CAPE TOWN, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Wednesday spoke highly of the rapid progress of the relations between China and South Africa, calling on both sides to make more efforts to boost the bilateral cooperation.

Xi, who is here for an official visit, made the remarks when holding talks with South Africa's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

The Chinese vice president said there are four distinctive aspects for the China-South Africa relations, namely, frequent exchange of high-level visits, rapid development and fruitful achievements, a wide range of fields for cooperation and profound impact.

Xi said during the talks that since the establishment of the diplomatic relations 12 years ago, the bilateral ties have been elevated from partnership, to strategic partnership and finally to comprehensive strategic partnership.

He also noted that the trade volume between the two sides increased by 10 times compared to that of 12 years ago, and the two sides have so far signed more than 70 inter-governmental cooperation documents.

China and South Africa established diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1998. Bilateral trade volume jumped from then 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to 16 billion U.S. dollars last year. Currently China is South Africa's biggest trade partner while South Africa is China's second biggest trade partner in Africa.

Looking ahead, Xi called on the two sides to enhance political dialogue, deepen economic cooperation, explore more room in people- to-people and cultural exchange and strengthen communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

Motlanthe, on his part, said that South Africa is willing to join hands with China to promote the advancement of bilateral relations.

After the talks, Xi and Motlanthe co-hosted the 4th plenary session of China-South Africa Bi-National Commission.


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