China, South Africa vow to deepen people-to-people exchanges

Visiting Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan on Thursday met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town as the two countries ramped up efforts to deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

Noting that China and South Africa enjoy a special friendship of "comrades plus brothers", Sun said the development of China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership has gained strong momentum.

China and South Africa have deepened political trust, fruitful pragmatic cooperation and fruitful people-to-people and cultural exchanges, the Chinese vice premier pointed out, adding the two sides have kept good communication and cooperation in multilateral occasions.

Sun told Ramaphosa that the Chinese side always views China-South Africa relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is willing to work together with South Africa to implement the consensus of the two heads of state as an important guide.

She urged efforts to continue to firmly support each other on issues related to each other's core interests and major concerns, and deepen the exchange of experience in governance and development.

Ramaphosa, for his part, expressed gratitude to China for the support extended to South Africa at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and noted South Africa-China relationship is of strategic significance.

He called on the two sides to expand bilateral ties, consolidate political mutual trust, expand trade and investment, promote people-to-people exchanges, deepen cooperation in the framework of BRICS and other mechanisms, so that more ordinary people in both countries could be involved in the bilateral relations.

Sun on Thursday also co-chaired the third meeting of the China-South Africa High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism with South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa and had in-depth discussion on deepening people-to-people exchanges.

Sun and Mthethwa witnessed the signing of three cooperation agreements between China and South Africa in the fields of education, science and technology, and health.

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