‘Golden age’ beckons for mutual SA-China partnership, says China’s Xi

People’s Republic of China President Xi Jingping. Picture: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS

People’s Republic of China President Xi Jingping. Picture: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS

Published Aug 23, 2023


People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping believes that the China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership has entered a golden age, as mutual political trust between the two countries continued to deepen, and mutually beneficial.

He said practical cooperation in various fields yielded fruitful results. Xi met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings on Tuesday as part of his state visit to the country ahead of the 15th BRICS Summit.

He said China was willing to work with South Africa to push China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.

At a new historical starting point, Xi said, carrying forward friendship, deepening cooperation and strengthening coordination were the common aspiration of the two countries and the task entrusted by the times.

The key to the good relations between China and South Africa and their deep friendship, Xi said, lay in the fact that the two countries and the two parties shared ‘Weal and woe’ on their respective development paths and had forged a profound friendship.

The visit coincides with 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and China.

China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and South Africa is China’s biggest trading partner in Africa.

Ramaphosa said South Africa and China had agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure development, energy, tourism, education and training, and digital technologies.

“We have discussed the need to narrow the trade deficit between South Africa and China, and that one of the ways to do this is by ensuring greater market access for value-added South African export goods into the Chinese market. We have discussed areas of synergy in line with the call by South Africa and other African countries for the reform of institutions of global governance, notably the United Nations Security Council.”

On the war in Ukraine, Ramaphosa said they discussed its impact on developing economies in Africa and elsewhere. “We both agreed on the importance of dialogue and negotiation between the two sides. We are encouraged that President Xi has welcomed the peace mission to Russia and Ukraine initiated by African leaders.”

Cape Times

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