Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory messages with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In his message, Xi said that with the joint efforts in the past 20 years, the China-South Africa relations have enjoyed comprehensive and in-depth development, and have been upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
It has been proven that consolidating and advancing an all-round cooperation between China and South Africa conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, Xi said.
He said he is willing to continue to work with President Zuma to further develop the relationship between China and South Africa so as to better benefit the two nations and two peoples.
China and South Africa are co-chairing the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Xi said, adding that the Johannesburg Summit co-chaired by him and Zuma back in 2015 achieved great success.
China agrees to host a FOCAC summit in 2018, based on President Zuma's proposal and the common aspirations of other African countries, Xi said.
He added that he is willing to work with President Zuma and other African leaders to make the 2018 summit a historical event which will strengthen unity and cooperation between China and Africa.
For his part, Zuma said that the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa is a milestone in the two countries' histories.
In the past 20 years, China and South Africa have achieved sound results in cooperation based on traditional friendship and mutual trust, Zuma said, adding that the bilateral relations have been upgraded and has been attached much strategic importance.
The two nations have been conducting close coordination on common interests and have also jointly tackled new threats and new global challenges, he said.
While co-chairing the FOCAC, South Africa and China are committed to developing the Africa-China partnership and stepping up efforts in implementing the decisions made at the Johannesburg Summit, Zuma said.
He said that he expects to participate in the FOCAC summit to be held in September 2018 in China, expressing willingness that the two countries will take the opportunity of the anniversary to further advance their friendship, expand cooperation and achieve win-win results.