PRETORIA, July 24 (Xinhua) - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa jointly attended the opening ceremony of a high-level dialogue between the two countries' scientists here on Tuesday.
China and Africa, who have stood together through thick and thin, have always been a community with a shared future and a community of shared interests based on win-win cooperation, Xi said during a speech at the dialogue.
Recalling the successful Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in December 2015, Xi said he is glad to see that the science and research cooperation projects inked in the outcome documents of the summit have been well implemented with remarkable achievements.
With joint efforts from both sides, the China-South Africa innovative cooperation in science and technology has been actively advancing, Xi said.
With important progress in technology cooperation in various fields, and multiple achievements in cutting-edge technology and industrial application cooperation, the breakthrough in science and technology made by Chinese and South African scientists have caught global attention, which enriched the contents of China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership and became a new growth point in expanding their mutually beneficial cooperation, said Xi.
The China-South Africa and China-Africa science and technology cooperation is faced with important new opportunities, as the FOCAC Beijing summit will kick off in September, the Chinese president said.
We should actively build new platforms for joint innovation, deepen exchanges and cooperation, boost exchanges among young scientists, proactively involve ourselves in the global innovation network, promote open cooperation in innovation ability with countries around the world, so as to push forward the China-South Africa science and technology innovative cooperation to keep up with the global trend of science and technology development, and endeavor to become top players in such development, Xi said.
He urged representatives from the Chinese and South African science and technology and industrial circles to continue to carry forward the traditional friendship between the two countries, actively expand innovation and enhance coordination, in order to find a win-win development path for China-South Africa science and technology innovative cooperation.
The Chinese president expressed confidence in the smooth realization of the goals through persistent endeavor.
For his part, Ramaphosa thanked Xi for his close attention and support to South Africa-China science and technology cooperation, noting the fruitful results from bilateral cooperation in recent years.
The South Africa-China Scientists High Level Dialogue demonstrated the two countries' resolution in promoting growth through science and technology innovation, and their cooperation potential in this field, he said.
The South African government is committed to strengthening science and technology innovative cooperation, so as to better cope with the fourth industrial revolution, Ramaphosa said, stressing that China is a reliable science and research cooperation partner to his country.
He also thanked China for its commitment in helping Africa's development and in promoting the Africa-China science and technology innovative cooperation under the framework of the FOCAC.
Xi and Ramaphosa together toured a photo exhibition of the achievements in China-South Africa science and technology innovative cooperation before the opening ceremony of the dialogue.
Among the exhibits were photos of Africa's flagship projects in science and technology, South Africa and China's respective science and technology achievements and their cooperation results.
The two leaders listened to the introduction of the South African Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope project, which is a major project involving multinational scientists including those from China, and a major bilateral science and technology cooperation project between China and South Africa.
They encouraged scientists from both countries to continue making efforts to smoothly complete the SKA project.
The two presidents also witnessed the first vehicle rolling off the line from Beijing Automobile Works' investment project in South Africa through a video link.
Xi arrived in Pretoria on Monday to pay his third state visit to the "rainbow nation."
South Africa is the fourth stop of Xi's five-nation Middle East and Africa tour, which has taken him to the United Arab Emirates, Senegal and Rwanda. He will also visit Mauritius during a stopover.