2013-03-21 16:45




  ETV of South Africa: You visited South Africa in 2010. It has been 15 years since China and South Africa established diplomatic relations. How would you assess the development of China-South Africa relations? What expectations do you have for future cooperation between the two countries?


  Xi Jinping: I visited South Africa in November 2010. I had a very good meeting with President Jacob Zuma, and co-chaired with Deputy President Motlanthe the session of the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission. I was deeply impressed by the warm hospitality and friendship of the South African people.


  The Chinese and South African people enjoy a profound friendship. The Chinese people stood firmly with the South African people in their struggle against apartheid. Over the past 15 years, relations between our two countries have achieved a historic leap from partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership. Bilateral cooperation in all fields has deepened and delivered fruitful results.


  China and South Africa are both emerging markets and developing countries. We see each other as opportunities for development and pivotal partners in pursuing our diplomatic strategies. China-South Africa cooperation has been expanding and deepening and it has acquired growing strategic and global significance. South Africa is now the African co-chair of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and will soon assume the rotating presidency of the BRICS mechanism. This will bring about favorable conditions for our two countries to enhance cooperation in African and international affairs.


  I look forward to an in-depth exchange of views with President Zuma on further growing our bilateral ties during my visit, and I wish the Fifth BRICS Leaders Meeting success.


  ETV of South Africa: The Chinese and African people share a long traditional friendship. How do you see China's role and influence in Africa? What role will China play in Africa's peace and development process? Besides resources, what other areas in Africa is China interested in?


  Xi Jinping: China and Africa are as close as one family. People of my age in China grew up in the warm atmosphere of China-Africa friendship. We all have a strong interest in Africa. We know by heart the names of the older generation of leaders of some African countries, and we are all familiar with the memorable stories of China-Africa friendship, such as the construction of the Tanzara Railway.


  Both being members of the developing world, China and Africa share extensive common interests. In recent years, China and African countries have built on their traditional friendship and made notable progress in advancing their relations. While pursuing its own development, China has consistently supported Africa's peace and development to the best of its ability and spoken up for African countries in the international arena. China-Africa cooperation has contributed to Africa's growing international standing and attracted greater international attention to and input in Africa. No matter how the international landscape may change, China will continue to support and promote Africa's efforts to achieve peace, stability, prosperity and development, seek strength through unity, and participate in international affairs on the basis of equality.


  China sincerely appreciates and will always remember the goodwill of the African friends toward the Chinese people, especially their firm support and valuable assistance on issues involving China's core interests and major concerns. When the torch of the 2008 Beijing Olympics arrived in Dar es Salaam, the City of Peace, the people of Tanzania welcomed it with dancing and singing like celebrating their own festival. In 2010, after a strong earthquake hit Yushu in China's Qinghai Province, the Republic of the Congo helped build a primary school in the disaster-affected area, and President Denis Sassou-Nguesso personally named it the Chinese-Congolese Friendship School. This is a vivid example of the deep friendship of the people of the Republic of the Congo toward the Chinese people. There are many more such touching stories.


  As the saying goes, "Numerous grains of earth make a mountain, numerous drops of water form an ocean." As long as we keep advancing China-Africa cooperation, we will make even bigger achievements. I want to point out that China-Africa cooperation is all-around cooperation. China attaches importance to growing friendly relations with all countries in Africa irrespective of their size, strength or wealth. And China treats all African countries as equals and actively develops win-win practical cooperation with them regardless of their resource endowment. We will speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference and strive for the comprehensive and balanced growth of our relations with Africa to the benefit of the people of both sides.


  Press Trust of India: China and India have had long-standing exchanges. What policy will the new Chinese leadership pursue towards India? Will there be any change in China's position on the China-India boundary question? How will China and India enhance cooperation both bilaterally and in international affairs?


  Xi Jinping: China and India enjoy a traditional friendship. They are the two largest developing countries in the world, and their combined population exceeds 2.5 billion. To jointly follow a path of peaceful development and development through cooperation meets the common interests of the two countries. It will also do a great service to Asia and the world at large.


  In May 2010, I had a very good meeting with President Patil during her visit to China. We agreed that we need to fully tap the huge potential of China-India cooperation and raise China-India relations to a higher level. In recent years, with concerted efforts of the two sides, China-India relations have made important headway. We have strengthened our friendly interactions by properly handling differences and seeking common development. China sees its relations with India as one of the most important bilateral relationships, and is committed to pushing forward the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership.


  At present, both China and India are pursuing development at a faster pace. This has offered more opportunities for the two countries to boost mutually beneficial cooperation. We should seize these opportunities and take solid steps to bolster cooperation and exchanges in all fields and take China-India relations to a new height. First, we should maintain strategic communication and keep our bilateral relations on the right track. Second, we should harness each other's comparative strengths and expand win-win cooperation in infrastructure, mutual investment and other areas. Third, we should strengthen cultural ties and increase the mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. Fourth, we should expand coordination and collaboration in multilateral affairs to jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and tackle global challenges. Fifth, we should accommodate each other's core concerns and properly handle problems and differences existing between the two countries.


  The boundary question is a complex issue left from history, and solving the issue won't be easy. However, as long as we keep up our friendly consultations, we can eventually arrive at a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement. Pending the final settlement of the boundary question, the two sides should work together to maintain peace and tranquility in border areas and prevent the boundary question from affecting the overall development of bilateral relations.

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