President Hu Jintao Meets with South African President Zuma
On March 26, 2012, President Hu Jintao met in Seoul with South African President Jacob Zuma. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on developing bilateral relations and China-Africa relations, strengthening cooperation among developing countries and other topics of mutual interest.
Hu stressed that the current international situation is undergoing profound and complicated changes. It is more important and urgent than ever before for big developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to meet common challenges. Under the guidance of the "Beijing Declaration" signed by both parties, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa is flourishing. The two sides have maintained close high-level exchanges and have deepened mutual political trust. The bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, people-to-people exchange, science, technology, tourism and other areas is riding on the momentum and continues to grow. At present, the development of China-South Africa relations is facing a good historical opportunity. The Chinese side is ready to work together with South Africa to promote the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership from the following aspects so that China-South Africa relations can become a model of solidarity and cooperation among big developing countries.
First, to push forward political exchanges. The two sides should maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and strengthen mutual understanding and support in relation to each other's major core interests. The two sides should deepen exchanges and experience sharing in governance and development.
Second, to deepen pragmatic cooperation. In line with the respective development plans and strategies, the two sides should strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in infrastructure construction, finance, mining, nuclear power, new energy, automobile manufacturing, agriculture and other fields. China encourages Chinese financial institutions and enterprises to expand investment in South Africa and actively participate in infrastructure construction, green economy, agricultural processing, and other projects in South Africa.
Third, to actively promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides should strengthen exchanges and cooperation in aviation, tourism, culture and other related areas, expand friendly exchanges between media institutions, think tanks, and NGOs and enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Zuma said that developing South Africa-China relationship can benefit not only the two countries, but also Africa. South Africa attaches great importance to developing the comprehensive strategic partnership with China and is willing to work with China to implement the "Beijing Declaration" and other consensuses, strengthen high-level, inter-party, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. South Africa is implementing the large-scale infrastructure construction program and welcomes China to actively participate in the program. South Africa hopes to expand exports of high value-added products to China.
Hu spoke highly of the important contributions made by South Africa to promoting Africa’s peace and development. He said that China firmly supports African countries in their efforts to strengthen themselves through unity and independently solve the problems of the region. China will strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries and African regional organizations, will actively participate in the national, cross-border, and trans-regional infrastructure construction in Africa, and will support the regional economic integration process in Africa in its power. The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in China in July this year. China is ready to work with African countries including South Africa to organize a successful conference and promote the in-depth development of friendly relations and cooperation between China and South Africa and between China and Africa.
Zuma said that African countries highly appreciated the support and help provided by China to Africa's development and thanked China for building the African Union Convention Center through assistance. South Africa will closely cooperate with China so that the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation could achieve positive results.
Hu pointed out that the two countries share common interests on many major international issues. China expects to strengthen coordination and cooperation with South Africa in major international organizations and mechanisms including the United Nations, the Group of Twenty, and the BRICS mechanism so as to make greater contributions to enhancing the collective power and voice of developing countries in the international arena and promoting the establishment of a more just and rational international political and economic order.
Zuma said that South Africa also hopes to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side within the BRICS mechanism and other multilateral mechanisms and promote the unity and cooperation among developing countries so as to safeguard common interests and achieve common development of developing countries.
Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo were also present at the meeting.