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Xi Jinping Arrives in Pretoria, Starting State Visit to South Africa

On December 2 local time, President Xi Jinping arrived in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, starting his state visit to the country.

At around 1: 45 pm local time, Xi Jinping's special plane arrived at the Waterkloof Air Force Base of Pretoria. Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan were warmly welcomed by Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and other senior government officials of South Africa. South African children presented bouquets to Xi Jinping and his wife. Guards of courtesy lining up on both sides of the red carpet saluted them with eyes.

Xi Jinping extended his sincere greetings and best wishes to the South African government and people. He pointed out that at present, China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership is developing rapidly, and bilateral relations have entered the best period in history. The two sides are constantly strengthening political mutual trust, promoting practical cooperation in all fields in an in-depth way, vigorously conducting people-to-people and cultural exchanges and carrying out increasingly close international cooperation. I look forward to, during my current visit, exchanging in-depth views with President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma on bilateral relations and international and regional topics of common interest, so as to push China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership to new highs, better benefit the two peoples and make greater contributions to promoting the peace and development cause of Africa and the world at large.

Xi Jinping stressed that the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) marks the first FOCAC Summit held on the African continent, thus bearing milestone significance to promoting comprehensive development of China-Africa relations and the more balanced, inclusive and sustainable development of the world. I look forward to discussing with leaders of all FOCAC members on major cooperation plans to jointly make new planning for and inject new impetus into the future of China-Africa friendly cooperation under the new situation. I believe that this summit is sure to yield fruitful results and write a new chapter into the history of China-Africa relations.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and other members of the Chinese delegation arrived by the same plane.

H.E. Tian Xuejun, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, also greeted them at the airport.

Xi Jinping arrived in Pretoria after concluding his state visit to Zimbabwe. During his stay in South Africa, Xi Jinping will also go to Johannesburg to chair the FOCAC Summit.

At noon of the same day, Xi Jinping left Zimbabwe by special plane. When he left Zimbabwe, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, together with Deputy Presidents Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and other senior government officials of Zimbabwe saw him off at the airport. The two heads of state bid farewell to each other in a kindly and friendly manner. Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his wife held a grand farewell ceremony for Xi Jinping and his wife at the airport. Local people congratulated on Xi Jinping's successful visit to Zimbabwe by performing their traditional dances. The military band played the national anthems of the two countries. The guard of honor saluted with guns. The two heads of state expressed their hope to meet again during the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC.

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