#Focac: Pretoria - Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over the signing of agreements and loan deals with South Africa worth R94 billion ($6.5 billion), mainly to build infrastructure in the continent's most industrialised nation.
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma hailed relations between the two nations as at their “best ever” after the two leaders held talks focused on boosting investment and addressing a trade imbalance that favours China.
“China and South Africa relations are at a new historical level. We want to build it into a model for relationships between China and other emerging economies,” Xi said at a media conference following the talks.
China has made a string of cheap loans in the past few years to countries in Africa, a continent which supplies oil and raw materials such as copper and uranium to the world's most populous country and its second-largest economy.
Chinese influence is broadly seen by Africans as a healthy counterbalance to the West, though Western governments accuse China of turning a blind eye to conflicts and rights abuses as they pursue trade and aid policies there.