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South Africans See Xi's State Visit a Sign of Strong Bilateral Ties
 

South Africans have described Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit as an indication of strong diplomatic and bilateral relations between the two nations.

"The state visit takes place within the context of strengthening strategic and historic political, economic, social and international cooperation partnership between South Africa and China," wrote the South Africa's presidential office on July 24 on Twitter.

In the eyes of the country's political analyst Somadoda Fikeni, the visit "is the further strengthening of relations between South Africa and China who are members of BRICS, but who also have strong political relationships."

"We have seen these strong relations in the United Nations Security Council and other economic activities," Fikeni said, adding that this visit will reinforce bilateral relations.

Khusela Diko, spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, said that the two countries have a very strong historic and strategic relationship.

Diko noted that the two countries' relations have been elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership, saying it is one of the highest levels of diplomatic ties.

Political analyst Shadrack Gutto said that the state visit was very important in the relations of the two countries.

Cobus van Staden, senior foreign policy researcher, said "Xi's visit is an important step in widening and deepening relations. It is important as the two countries celebrate 20 years of diplomatic relations ... we expect the continued widening of the agenda and relationship."

"The two countries are also using this state visit to prepare for the upcoming FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) Beijing summit," Staden added.

(Xinhua News Agency July 25, 2018)

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