Pretoria – Chinese ambassador to South Africa Chen Xiaodong praised the blossoming bilateral relations with South Africa under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa respectively.
“China and South Africa has a long history of friendship.
“Our relationship has been continuously refined in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and racism and improved in the process of building solidarity and co-operation, as well as in advancing mutual benefit and common development,” the Chinese diplomat said in Pretoria.
He said the bilateral relations achieved a major leap from partnership, to comprehensive strategic partnership and is bringing tangible benefits to the two countries’ people.
“Under the joint leadership of generations of leaders of the two countries, especially Xi Jinping and Ramaphosa, mutual political trust between the two countries has been deepened, practical cooperation has continued to expand, people-to-people co-operation has been colourful and international collaboration has become closer,” said Chen.
“China-South Africa relations have long gone beyond bilateral spheres and have set a fine example for China-Africa relations, South-South co-operation and cooperation among emerging market countries. It is now having important strategic significance and global impact.”
He recounted that South Africa and China have reciprocated assistance for affected communities during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have firmly supported each other in the fight against Covid-19 and jointly raised the voice for justice and against politicising Covid-19 origin-tracing.
“We overcame the adverse impact of Covid-19, and our economic and trade cooperation has bucked the trend,” said Chen.
“China-South Africa bilateral trade volume is on track to exceed $50 billion for the year.
“We have maintained close communication and co-operation at the UN, G20, BRICS, FOCAC and other multilateral occasions, and joined hands to safeguard the common interests of developing countries and international justice and equity.”
The webinar, held by the Chinese embassy in Pretoria in conjunction with the National Press Club was reviewing the sixth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China’s central committee held in Beijing from November 8 to 11.
Panellists at the webinar included Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who is also chairperson of the ANC subcommittee on international relations; deputy director-general at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation ambassador Anil Sooklal; first deputy general secretary of the SA Communist Party (SACP) Solly Mapaila; and director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg Dr David Monyae.