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Earlier at Johannesburg Airport, Xi said that he looked forward to discussing plans of cooperation with his counterparts at the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban, as well as with other African leaders.
“I believe that with concerted efforts of all participants, the meeting will be a successful one and take the solidarity and cooperation of developing countries to a new high,” Xi said.
China is the continent’s biggest trading partner with deals inked in 2012 worth $200 billion.
Four of the globe’s 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa, fueled partly by growing Chinese large-scale investments in areas such as infrastructure and telecommunications.
During his meeting with Zuma, Xi said: “With efforts made by both sides, my visit will be a success and inject new strong vitality into our comprehensive strategic partnership.”
It was proposed in the meeting between Zuma and Xi that next year be heralded as the ‘Year of South Africa in China’ and that 2015 be declared the ‘Year of China in South Africa’.
The Chinese president says that both China and South Africa are major developing countries with important influence, and both are highly dynamic emerging economies.
Xi and his wife received a 21-gun salute at the seat of government in Pretoria as he arrived for the meeting.
President Zuma referred to historical ties between China and South Africa that predates written record.
“South Africa had contact with China already nine centuries ago. Regrettably colonialism, imperialism and apartheid disrupted contacts,” said Zuma.
The South African president also announced the signing of a number of business contracts and undertakings by the captains of industry aimed at strengthening and deepening bilateral relations.
“Just now President Zuma and I held productive talks and we witnessed the signing of agreements between our relevant government departments and enterprises. In our talks just now we both reviewed and commended the fruitful results that we have achieved in the last 15 years of our diplomatic relations,” Xi said after discussions with Zuma.
From Pretoria, Xi will fly to the port city of Durban for the Summit with fellow members Brazil, Russia, India, and South Africa.
Xi will also be attending the first BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum.
The African Union has been invited to be an observer at this year’s BRICS Summit.
The BRICS Post