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China ready to enhance people-to-people exchange with South Africa: vice-premier

Updated: Apr 25,2017 9:04 AM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong (L) meets with South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 24, 2017.

PRETORIA — China stands ready to work with South Africa to enhance people-to-people exchange and cooperation so as to boost the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said here on April 24.

Liu made the remarks in a meeting with South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa here before she attended the first meeting of the China-South Africa High Level People to People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM).

Sino-South African relationship is now in its best time ever, with deepening mutual political trust and fruitful achievements in bilateral pragmatic cooperation, said Liu.

In their top-level design for comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, the heads of state of China and South Africa have charted the course for the growth of bilateral relations and ushered in an unprecedented historic opportunity for people-to-people exchange and cooperation, she said.

As the first high-level people-to-people change mechanism established by China with an African country, the China-South Africa PPEM is part of follow-up actions to implement the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg, said the vice-premier.

It will not only facilitate the understanding and friendship between the two peoples of China and South Africa, but also play an exemplary role in stronger Sino-African people-to-people exchange, she noted.

China and South Africa should encourage broad public participation so as to turn Sino-South African people-to-people exchange into a fine example for the people-to-people exchange between China and Africa as a whole, she said.

To this end, Liu added, China and South Africa should maintain close contact, innovate ideas and approaches and focus on active implementation and practical results.

For his part, Mthethwa said the founding of the South Africa-China PPEM reflects the vision and wisdom of the heads of state of the two countries.

The South Africa-China PPEM will boost the friendship between the two peoples and facilitate bilateral exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, education, culture and tourism, said Mthethwa, expressing belief that the PPEM will play an important role in further developing the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.