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Roundup: China, South Africa agree to boost ties, cooperation against climate change

PRETORIA, March 31 — China and South Africa have agreed to boost bilateral relations and cement their cooperation against climate change.

This unswerving stance was reached during Tuesday's talks between top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin and South African President Jacob Zuma.

Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country's top advisory body, was making an official visit to South Africa at the invitation of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa.

South Africa was the last leg of Jia's ten-day African tour which already took him to Cameroon and Namibia.

During the talks, Jia reviewed the growth of China-South Africa relationship since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1998, highlighting frequent visits, stronger political trust and enhanced economic cooperation.

China has become South Africa's biggest trade partner and exporter as bilateral trade volume hit a historic high of more than 16 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 despite the international financial crisis, according to the Chinese Customs.

Of African nations, South Africa draws the biggest number of Chinese tourists and students who pursued higher education in the country at the southern tip of Africa.

As developing nations, China and South Africa shared the same task of developing economy and improving livelihood, said Jia.

He proposed the two countries work more closely in increasing strategic trust, deepening economic cooperation and expanding people-to-people exchanges.

On climate change, he said China and Africa should step up their cooperation to tackle the challenge in a bid to ensure the common interests of developing countries.

For his part, Zuma said Jia's visit was of great significance to boost bilateral relationship and called on both sides to take the opportunity of the visit to expand substantial cooperation and bring bilateral strategic partnership to a new high.

Zuma spoke highly of China's efforts to deal with climate change, saying that China played an important role in producing the positive outcome from the Copenhagen climate change conference last December.

The South African president expected his country, China and other developing countries to increase communication and coordination so as to make the upcoming international climate change conference in Mexico yield results in favor of developing countries.

Zuma appreciated China's selfless help and generous support to African people in their pursuit of national justice and country development.

Jia started his visit to South Africa from the country's resort city of Cape Town on Sunday.

In Cape Town, Jia held talks with Mninwa Mahlangu, chairman of the National Council of Provinces of South Africa. The two leaders agreed on furthering the exchanges between the CPPCC and the National Council of Provinces of South Africa. (PNA/Xinhua) LOR/ebp

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