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China’s Xi Jinping and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa Meet at Brasilia BRICS Summit

Nov. 18, 2019 (EIRNS)—China’s President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met on Nov. 14 on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS summit in Brasilia last week. As covered by Xinhua, President Xi emphasized that the two were both “developing countries,” and needed to “boost” their own domestic development, as well as opposed unilateralism in global politics. “Xi called on the two sides to further synergize their development strategies,” the agency wrote, “actively expand two-way trade and investment, explore cooperation in such fields as industrial capacity and infrastructure, and advance the Belt and Road cooperation.

“China is willing to join efforts with South Africa to enhance solidarity and cooperation of the BRICS countries, push forward the development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), maintain close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues and safeguard international fairness and justice,”

Xinhua reported.

Ramaphosa, after extending his congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the P.R.C., “highly commended” China in its progress in alleviating poverty, saying that he “firmly supports” China’s development and growth. He signaled—in a not-so-subtle reference to the U.S.—that he opposes the “bullying tactics” against China and “unfair treatment” targeting Huawei and others, and that he supports China in safeguarding its sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests.

“South Africa is willing to enhance inter-party exchanges with the [Communist Party of China] CPC, expand cooperation in economy and trade, as well as infrastructure and artificial intelligence, among other fields, said Ramaphosa, adding that he welcomes more investment in South Africa by Chinese businesses.”

South Africa is due to take the reins of the African Union in 2020, just as the African Continental Free Trade Area is set to launch in May. In that regard, Ramaphosa’s recognition of China’s history-making leadership through FOCAC took on a special regard.

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