BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- China stands ready to work with South Africa to move their ties forward toward a deeper level with higher quality and broader scope, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday afternoon.
Xi made the remarks during his phone conversation with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Noting that China and South Africa share a special friendly relationship of comrades and brothers, Xi said consolidating and developing their relations is of great significance to guiding China-Africa relations as well as solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.
The two sides should continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, step up efforts to implement the nine programs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the 10-year strategic plan on cooperation between the two countries, and strive for new achievements in bilateral cooperation in various areas, Xi said.
China welcomes more imports of high-quality South African products, supports the two sides in expanding cooperation in emerging fields such as new energies and e-commerce, and encourages Chinese enterprises to conduct investment cooperation in South Africa and to help South Africa achieve the development goals of the new investment drive, Xi said.
China is ready to discuss cooperation on vaccine production with South Africa, and support South Africa and other African countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Xi said.
Xi noted that China, which chairs the BRICS this year, is ready to work with South Africa to maintain the development momentum of the BRICS cooperation mechanism, build a high-quality partnership that is more comprehensive, closer, more pragmatic and inclusive, realize the development of member countries and promote stronger, green and healthy global development.
China stands ready to work with all parties to uphold true multilateralism, safeguard international equity and justice, and safeguard the legitimate rights and common interests of emerging economies and developing countries, so as to actively contribute to the steady recovery of the world economy and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.
Ramaphosa said he would like to extend once again his wishes to the centennial of the Communist Party of China and congratulate China on the successful Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Noting that China is a reliable and true partner and friend of South Africa as well as for African countries, Ramaphosa thanked China for sticking to a fair position and providing valuable assistance for South Africa and African countries to help them jointly overcome difficulties.
South Africa firmly adheres to the one-China policy and steadfastly supports China's stance on the issue related to Tibet and other major issues, Ramaphosa said.
At this difficult time for the world, he said, South Africa hopes to maintain close contact with China, consolidate friendship, carry forward the two countries' good tradition of mutual support, and deepen South Africa-China practical cooperation in various fields as well as Africa-China comprehensive strategic cooperation.
Ramaphosa said South Africa supports China in carrying out the work as the BRICS chair this year and looks forward to a successful BRICS summit this year.
The two leaders also exchanged views over the situation in Ukraine. Both sides agree that China and South Africa share a very close position on the Ukrainian issue, and that sovereign countries are entitled to independently decide on their own positions.
Both sides support Russia and Ukraine in keeping the momentum of peace talks and settling disputes through dialogue and negotiations.
The two leaders said they are ready to strengthen communication and coordination over the issue. ■