Chinese President Xi Jinping started his third state visit to the "rainbow nation" with the aim of boosting bilateral friendly relations and cooperation on July 23.
Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were greeted by high-ranking South African government officials at the airport.
This state visit is the first of its kind South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has hosted since he took office in February this year.
The two leaders will hold talks in Pretoria to draw a new blueprint for further developing bilateral relations, and attend celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of their countries' diplomatic relations.
Upon arrival, Xi said that in the past 20 years, China-South Africa relations have developed in an all-round and in-depth way, leaping from a partnership to a strategic partnership and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two countries have witnessed increasing political mutual trust, practical cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and strategic coordination, Xi said.
"I look forward to having an in-depth exchange of views with President Ramaphosa on bilateral relations, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, as well as international and regional issues of common concern, so as to jointly elevate China-South Africa relations to a new high in the new era and bring greater benefits to our two peoples," he said.
Xi is also scheduled to attend the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg on July 25-27. It will be the sixth consecutive time for the Chinese president to attend such meetings.
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.
(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2018)