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China, South Africa pledge enhanced cooperation in joint statement

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China and South Africa on Tuesday issued a joint statement, vowing to elevate bilateral relations and pledging enhanced cooperation in various fields.

In the face of emerging global challenges, the two sides undertake to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership henceforth, actively build a quality China-South Africa community, and play a meaningful and joint role in China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation, the statement said.

Charting the course for bilateral relations

The two sides further agree that Head-of-State diplomacy is particularly significant to developing China-South Africa relations, said the statement, vowing to maintain regular contact between the two heads of state to increase communication and coordination on major issues of mutual interest and chart the course for bilateral relations.

Both sides agree to leverage the role of structured bilateral mechanisms such as the Bi-National Commission (BNC), Strategic Dialogue (S.D.), the Regular Exchange Mechanism (REM) between the National People’s Congress of China and the National Assembly of South Africa, and the High-level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM) to deepen exchanges on governance and to promote people-to-people and sub-national interactions at various levels and across different fields to boost bilateral cooperation, it said.

Enhancing cooperation

Noting that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a useful and mutually beneficial platform for international cooperation, the two sides will consider working towards bilateral cooperation and synergy within the BRI and the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) frameworks, the statement said.

Both sides pledge to continue to seek the strengthening of cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure and logistics, trade and investment, manufacturing, agro-processing, energy and resources, finance, digital economy, science and technology, as well as green development, it said.

Hailing the achievements of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, both sides stand ready to address market access and enhance two-way investment to keep industrial and supply chains stable and secure, it said.

China undertakes to continue to support South Africa in addressing its energy security challenges, both in respect of generation and transmission infrastructure, the statement said, adding that South Africa will actively participate in the China International Import Expo, the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and support trade missions between the two countries, it said.

According to the statement, both sides pledged to implement and further strengthen social exchanges and cooperation in areas such as poverty alleviation strategies, culture, women, youth, education, sport, health, media and tourism to consolidate the social foundation of the bilateral relationship.

Agreeing that BRICS cooperation is essential in achieving a more representative and equitable global governance order and promoting more inclusive global economic growth, the two sides vowed to continue supporting the development of BRICS in all three pillars of cooperation and to collaborate with all BRICS members to deepen practical cooperation in various fields and achieve progress in terms of BRICS membership expansion.

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