Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative and a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Yang Jiechi (L) shakes hands with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town, South Africa, March 23, 2018. (Xinhua/Yu Dabo)
CAPE TOWN, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's special representative Yang Jiechi and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met here Friday to discuss bilateral ties.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, extended greetings and good wishes to Ramaphosa on behalf of Xi, saying Xi attaches great importance to the China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership.
Yang said that through close contacts and enhanced strategic consultations, the two heads of state play a leading role in the development of bilateral relations.
Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 20 years ago, their relations have seen great progress thanks to joint efforts, Yang said.
Noting both countries have entered a new stage of national development, Yang said China is willing to increase high-level contacts, enhance political mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation so as to lift bilateral ties to higher levels.
Regarding the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled for September in Beijing as well as the 2018 summit of the emerging-market bloc BRICS to be held in Johannesburg, Yang said the two sides should support each other to make them a success so as to boost bilateral ties and BRICS cooperation.
According to Yang, Xi and Ramaphosa will co-chair the FOCAC summit.
China hopes South Africa will make new progress in national development under the leadership of Ramaphosa, Yang added.
For his part, Ramaphosa asked Yang to convey his congratulations to Xi on his election as Chinese president.
Hailing the bilateral longtime friendship and rapidly developing cooperation, Ramaphosa said South Africa-China relations are of great historic and strategic significance.
Ramaphosa said his country is willing to better integrate policies and development strategies of the two countries so as to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation.
He added South Africa will take part in the China International Import Expo (CIIE), which is scheduled for Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai.
Meanwhile, South Africa welcomes Chinese enterprises to participate in its events for promoting investment and employment, he said.
The South African president agreed that the two sides should work together to ensure the success of the upcoming FOCAC and BRICS summits as well as to bring bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.
Also on Friday, Yang met with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and discussed bilateral ties.