South African President Jacob Zuma (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping share a laugh as they attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, December 4, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]


BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Jacob Zuma exchanged messages on Sunday, congratulating the launch of “the Year of China” in South Africa.

Under the framework of “the Year of China” in South Africa, both China and South Africa will hold a series of wonderful activities on mutual exchanges in South Africa’s nine provinces and major cities, which will open a new chapter for the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and South Africa, Xi said in his congratulatory message.

China is willing to join hands with South Africa to push for more achievements in the China-South Africa cooperation as well as the China-Africa cooperation, and bring more benefits to the Chinese and African peoples, Xi added.

Zuma said in his congratulatory message that China and South Africa’s hosting of the “country year” celebrations bear a historic significance in further boosting their bilateral ties.

South Africa sincerely thanked China for supporting South Africa’s staging “the Year of South Africa” in China in 2014, and it will fully support the running of “the Year of China” in South Africa in 2015, Zuma said.

The South African president expected the event will fully display China’s enormous achievements in history and culture as well as its national development.

“The Year of China” in South Africa is to be officially launched on March 15, 2015.