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    China ready to elevate ties with S. Africa

    By XU WEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-10 00:52
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    President Xi Jinping stressed on Friday China's readiness to elevate its level of relations with South Africa, build a high level of bilateral community with a shared future and jointly uphold the common interests of developing nations.

    In a phone call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi highlighted the special bond of brotherhood between China and South Africa as two important developing nations, saying that bilateral ties are of strong strategic significance to upholding the common interests of the developing world and lead the way in solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa.

    He pointed out that the development of China-South Africa relations is faced with key opportunities with South Africa being the rotating chair this year of the BRICS, a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and India.

    Xi called on the two nations to jointly practice true multilateralism and push the international order toward a more fair and reasonable direction.

    China supports South Africa as the chair of the BRICS this year, including the country's hosting of various events, he said.

    Ramaphosa expressed deep appreciation and pride for South Africa's robust and high-level strategic partnership with China, saying that Africa has benefited from the bilateral cooperation.

    He reiterated South Africa's commitment to working with China to further strengthen the bilateral relationship, and pledged to deepen communication and coordination with other BRICS members, including China, to enhance BRICS cooperation.

    Both leaders also exchanged views on the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

    Ramaphosa affirmed South Africa's support for China's position and its document on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. He expressed his hope that all parties involved would resume negotiations promptly, saying that a peace delegation comprising of leaders from six African countries, including South Africa, would be visiting Russia and Ukraine to facilitate an expedited end to the conflict.

    Xi reiterated China's consistent position on the crisis, reemphasizing the importance of promoting peace and dialogue.

    He expressed his hope that favorable conditions can be created through dialogue for resolving the crisis, and described the upcoming peace mission by the delegation of African leaders to Russia and Ukraine as a positive development.

    He called on all countries that are committed to peace and justice to send out rational voices to encourage peace and dialogue.

    China is South Africa's largest trading partner, while South Africa is China's largest trading partner in Africa. In 2022, trade between the two countries amounted to $56.74 billion, a year-on-year increase of 5.0 percent.

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