BEIJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed that his country, a long-time friend with African countries, will continue to support and promote efforts on the continent to achieve peace, stability, prosperity and development.
In recent years, China and African countries have built on their traditional friendship and made notable progress in advancing their relations, Xi said in a joint interview with Xinhua and news outlets from the other four BRICS countries before his first foreign visit as Chinese president.
"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," Xi said when asked by a reporter from South Africa's e.tv broadcaster to comment on China's role and influence in Africa.
"China-Africa cooperation has contributed to Africa's growing international standing and attracted greater international attention to and input in Africa," he said.
The Chinese president pledged that China will maintain its support for Africa no matter how the international landscape changes.
Xi also cited several stories that testify to the deep friendship between the peoples of China and African countries, noting that China sincerely appreciates the goodwill of its African friends, especially their support and assistance on issues involving China's core interests and major concerns.
In an apparent attempt to counter the wrongful claims that China is only interested in Africa's resources, Xi said China-Africa cooperation is all-around cooperation and China treats all African countries as equals and actively develops win-win practical cooperation with them regardless of their resource endowment.
In his upcoming trip abroad, Xi will visit Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo and attend the fifth BRICS summit in South Africa.
Xi said he was deeply impressed by the warm hospitality and friendship of the South African people when he visited the country in 2010 and is looking forward to an in-depth exchange of views with his South African counterpart on growing ties during his visit.
"China and South Africa... 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," Xi said.