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China Daily Website

South Africa values relations with China: DIRCO

Updated: 2013-11-18 20:54
( Xinhua)

CAPE TOWN - South Africa values its relations with China and will work together to address development challenges and strengthen China-Africa relations, the country's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Monday.

The DIRCO denied a report by local news outlet Media24 that China withdrew an academic honor to South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe after interference by President Jacob Zuma.

The report "is factually incorrect," the DIRCO said.

The DIRCO, as custodians of all international relations related engagements, had initiated the process, according to DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

"But due to internal and diplomatic consultations not completed on time, a postponement was requested through diplomatic channels and granted," Monyela said.

He said that to insinuate the involvement of the President/ Presidency is inaccurate and can only be malicious.

The Presidency on Sunday also refuted the report which claimed Zuma and Motlanthe no longer work together, calling it "baseless" and "ridiculous."

Motlanthe led a South African delegation to Beijing to attend the 5th Bi-National Commission (BNC) between South Africa and China on October 28-29.

In its statement, the DIRCO said relations between South Africa and China have developed smoothly and rapidly.

Last year witnessed an important milestone in bilateral relations when South Africa assumed the Co-Chairship of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) for the next six years, and will host the next FOCAC Ministerial Meeting in 2015, the DIRCO said.

Africa's relations with China are conducted within the framework of FOCAC.

"During its tenure South Africa will continue to ensure the advancing of South-South cooperation and that special attention is given to the implementation of the African Agenda," said the department.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1998, the relationship between South Africa and China has been growing fast. China is now South Africa's largest trading partner and a major investor in key sectors such as mining and financial services.

South Africa participates in various multilateral forums with China, including the G20 and G77+China, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), FOCAC, BASIC (referring to Brazil, India, China and South Africa in climate talks), etc, the DIRCO said.

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