South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, together with South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, and Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, warmly greeted Xi at the OR Tambo International Airport of Johannesburg.
A group of South African women presented Xi with flowers, honor guards saluted him, and people dressed in South African traditional costumes performed dances.
President Ramaphosa warmly welcomed Xi for his state visit to South Africa.
Xi said that he is very glad to visit South Africa again and looks forward to having in-depth exchanges of views with Ramaphosa on deepening China-South Africa relations and issues of common interest.
In a written speech, Xi extended heartfelt greetings and best wishes to the people of South Africa on behalf of the Chinese people. Noting that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa, Xi emphasized that the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries has entered a new stage.
A solid and growing China-South Africa relationship not only benefits the two peoples, but also brings more stability to a world which is undergoing transformation and turbulence, Xi said, adding that he believes with the two sides’ concerted efforts, the visit will definitely be a complete success.
The BRICS cooperation mechanism, a key cooperation platform for emerging markets and major developing countries, has become a constructive force for the world’s economic growth, better global governance and greater democracy in international relations, said Xi.
He is confident that the upcoming BRICS summit will become an important milestone in the development of the BRICS mechanism, and help take the unity and cooperation of developing countries to a higher level, Xi added.
Xi also noted that he looks forward to attending the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue, where he will explore ways together with African leaders for closer cooperation, greater development and a more peaceful world.
Xi’s entourage, including Cai Qi, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau and director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and foreign minister, arrived on the same plane.
Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong greeted the delegation at the airport.
At midnight, when Xi’s motorcade was on its way from the airport to the hotel, overseas Chinese gathered on the streets along the way, waving national flags of the two countries and holding banners such as "Long live China-South Africa friendship" to warmly welcome Xi’s visit.