President Hu Jintao Meets with His South African Counterpart Zuma
On April 13, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao met in Sanya City of south China's Hainan Province with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, who is here for BRICS Leaders Meeting and the opening ceremony of the BFA Annual Conference 2011. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries as well as international and regional issues of common concern.
President Hu congratulated South Africa for its joining in the BRICS mechanism and said that China would join hands with other BRICS countries in pushing forward cooperation among the bloc and obtaining new achievements. President Zuma thanked the Chinese side for supporting South Africa being a member of the BRICS mechanism. He said South Africa's participation in the bloc enables Africa to have representation in this mechanism, which is conducive not only to his country but also to the whole African continent.
Hu pointed out that in August 2010, the two heads of state inked the Beijing Declaration, agreeing to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership. Hu said China and South Africa had witnessed frequent political exchanges, deepened mutual understanding and trust and maintained close cooperation in major international affairs over the past half year. Bilateral trade between China and South Africa hit a record high in 2010, and the two countries saw booming reciprocal cooperation in a wide range of sectors from mining, finance, telecommunications, new energy to science and technology, culture, education, and tourism, Hu said.
President Hu said China and South Africa are both important developing countries. All-round and rapid development of bilateral ties conforms to the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples and is conducive to promoting unity and cooperation between China and Africa as well as other developing countries. China would like to deepen the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership from the following four aspects: Firstly, the two countries should intensify high-level exchanges, Hu said. China and South Africa should take advantage of the high-level contacts to exchange experiences in governance. The two sides should also enhance mutual understanding and support over major issues concerning each other's core interests so as to serve the common objectives of seeking development, ensuring stability and benefiting their people. Secondly, the two countries should deepen their pragmatic cooperation. Hu said China and South Africa should implement the consensus reached during last year's visits by senior officials. The two sides should deepen their mutually beneficial cooperation in areas of infrastructure, mining, energy and agriculture, expand investment by Chinese financial institutions and businesses in South Africa's key areas and promote the balanced and healthy development of bilateral trade. Thirdly, the two countries should promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China and South Africa should intensify communication and cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, journalism and tourism, Hu said. Fourthly, the two countries would enhance cooperation on international affairs. China and South Africa should intensify coordination and cooperation within the major multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Group of 20 as well as the BRICS, to safeguard the common interests of the two countries and other developing nations and push the world's political and economic order to become fairer and more reasonable. Hu said China appreciates South Africa's efforts in preparing for the United Nations Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to be held in Durban at the end of the year. He said China would support South Africa in playing its important role as a host country to achieve positive results during the conference and complete the Bali Roadmap talks.
Zuma said South Africa and China have strong bilateral ties. Last year the two heads of state signed the Beijing Declaration and declared the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership, which was of great significance to pushing forward bilateral ties. Since last year, both sides have maintained close high-level exchanges and continuously enhanced pragmatic cooperation in all areas. South Africa would like to work with China to further implement the Beijing Declaration and enhance cooperation with China on various sectors including economy and trade as well as environmental protection, which would help South Africa create more jobs and boost national economy. He said South Africa hopes to improve communication and cooperation with China under multi-lateral mechanisms like the UN Security Council and coordinate stance on major international issues. South Africa, as host country of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, hopes to strengthen consultations with China to push the conference for success.
On the Libyan turmoil, Zuma introduced the efforts by the African Union Ad Hoc High-Level Committee on Libya. Zuma said the top priority at present is to cease fire as soon as possible and give peace an opportunity. He also expressed appreciation to China for its support to the African Union on the issue. South Africa is ready to maintain communication and coordination with China on the issue.
Hu said China is concerned about the humanitarian crisis stemmed from Libya's continuous tension. He reiterated China's position on the incident, calling on relevant parties to immediately cease fire so as to avoid greater humanitarian disasters caused by the worsening of the situation. China would support the political efforts made by parties concerned, including the African Union, to ease the tension in Libya and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with South Africa to restore stability in the north African country, Hu said.
Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.