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ANC sends delegation to China to strengthen ties: spokesman

10-11-2011 08:21 BJT

CAPE TOWN, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), confirmed on Monday that it has sent a delegation to China to strengthen ties with the Chinese Communist Party.

"The purpose of the trip is to strengthen party-to-party relations," ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said, refuting rumors that the visit was related to Dalai Lama's visa.

Dalai Lama failed to come to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday on Oct. 7 because he did not get a visa.

The opposition Democratic Alliance criticized the South African government for not granting a visa to Dalai Lama. Earlier reports said the ANC had sent a delegation to China in relation to Dalai Lama's visa.

Khoza denied that the visit played any role in the government's handling of the Dalai Lama's visa application.

"No, no, the trip was planned a long time before that," he said, adding that there had been several ANC visits to China to allow officials to interact with their Chinese counterparts before the present visit.

"The ANC has relationships with all progressive parties around the world. We share experiences and views and perspectives on issues of international governance," Khoza said.

He said the government was particularly interested in learning from the political parties ruling fellow members of the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) bloc of emerging market economies. South Africa joined the group in December last year.

The 10-member delegation that left for China earlier this month included Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Enoch Godongwana in his capacity as a member of the party's national executive committee, according to press reports.



Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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