|President Xi Jinping (front, L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (back, L) are welcomed by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane (back, R) and Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba (front, R) at the Tambo International Airport of Johannesburg, South Africa, March 25, 2013. Xi arrived in South Africa Monday for a state visit to promote bilateral ties and for a summit of the BRICS countries. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
JOHANNESBURG, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in South Africa Monday for a state visit to promote bilateral ties and for a summit of the BRICS countries.
Xi said in a written speech at the Tambo International Airport of Johannesburg that both China and South Africa are major developing countries with important influence, and both are highly dynamic emerging economies.
To consolidate and grow China-South Africa relations is not only in the interests of the two peoples, but also conducive to the solidarity and cooperation among the developing countries and to peace and development of the world, he said.
"I believe that with efforts made by both sides, my visit will be a success and inject new strong vitality into our comprehensive strategic partnership," Xi said.
Meanwhile, he said that it is of great significance for the BRICS Leaders Meeting to be held for the first time on the African continent along with the first BRICS Leaders-Africa Dialogue Forum.
"I look forward to discussing plans of cooperation with leaders of other BRICS countries and African nations. I believe that with concerted efforts of all participants, the meeting will be a successful one and take the solidarity and cooperation of developing countries to a new high," he said.
The Chinese leader afterwards travelled to Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, for talks with the country's leaders.
On Tuesday, he is expected to meet his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership established between the two countries in 2010.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 15 years ago, the two countries have maintained frequent high-level visits, enhanced political mutual trust, deepened cooperation in various fields and coordinated smoothly on major international and regional issues.
From Pretoria, Xi will fly to the port city of Durban for the fifth summit of BRICS, an emerging-economy group which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Under the theme of "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization," the BRICS summit will for the first time be joined by African leaders for promotion of regional development and integration.
The BRICS countries account for 42 percent of the world's population, 20 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 15 percent of global trade.