Posted by: APO | 4 May 2008

China, S Africa launch friendship association

China, S Africa launch friendship association


China and South Africa launched in Beijing Thursday the China-South Africa Friendship Association (CSAFA) for promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

The association’s president Abdul’ahat Abdurixit said that the CSAFA, which is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and South African peoples and promoting bilateral cooperation, would further improve the friendship of the two peoples.

“Although China and South Africa are geologically far away from each other, the two countries have a long tradition of friendly exchanges,” he said, adding that the two countries have stepped up coordination in regional and international affairs since they set up diplomatic relations 10 years ago.

South Africa’s ambassador to China Ndumiso N Ntshinga said at the opening ceremony that South Africa’s friendship with China has been growing firmer and firmer since the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Ntshinga said there are plenty of opportunities in his country and welcomed Chinese people to the African nation for sight seeing or tapping business opportunities.

He also said South Africa would take part in the magnificent event of the Beijing Olympic Games in August and wished the Games a complete success.

In the past 10 years, China-South Africa cooperation saw very rapid growth, said China’s former ambassador to South Africa Liu Guijin.

Liu said that bilateral trade volume was just some two billion U.S. dollars in 2000 but rocketed to around 14 billion dollars last year. And now South Africa has now become one of China’s top partners for economic cooperation in Africa.

The former ambassador, who worked in South Africa for six years, said that people in both China and South Africa cherish the friendship very much.

He mentioned that when South African President Thabo Mbeki came to China in 2006 for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, he particularly took time out of the tight schedule to go to a Beijing bookstore for “books about China written by Chinese authors.”

Our two peoples want to know each other better and further promote our friendship, he said.

Additionally, the two sides remain committed to cooperation and friendship despite South African dock workers reportedly refusing to unload a consignment of Chinese weapons destined for Zimbabwe because of the election crisis in Harare.

China and South Africa celebrated their tenth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations earlier this month, and the “Rainbow Nation” has launched the “South Africa Week” in China to present to the Chinese people its fashion designs, jewellery, cuisine, red wine and other unique products.


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