Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday expressed deep grief over the passing of former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at the age of 95, the official Xinhua news agency reported. In a message of condolences to his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, Xi also extended his sincere sympathies and those of the Chinese government and people to Mandela’s family, the report said. Lauding Mandela as “a world-renowned statesman”, Xi said the South African leader led his people through arduous struggles to the anti-apartheid victory, making a historic contribution to the establishment and development of a new South Africa. Mandela, who visited China twice, was also one of the founders of the China-South Africa relations, and an active champion of bilateral friendship and cooperation, the Chinese president was quoted as saying.
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