Mandela was an old friend of Chinese people: Hong Lei
Beijing: China on Friday mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela and praised the former South African president as "an old friend of the Chinese people."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Mandela made historical contributions to the establishment and development of China-South Africa relations.
"We express deep condolences over the passing of Mandela and convey sincere sympathy to the South African government and people and to Mandela`s family," Hong said in a written statement.
As a famous leader of the anti-apartheid movement, Mandela is revered as "founding father" in South Africa and an outstanding statesman in the world, winning worldwide respect and love, he said.
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