China vows to help SA fight poverty, increase economic growth

Chinese Ambassador to SA Lin Songtinan. Picture: Noni Mokati.

Chinese Ambassador to SA Lin Songtinan. Picture: Noni Mokati.

Published Aug 24, 2017


Johannesburg - China has vowed to assist South Africa fight off poverty and increase its economic growth. 

Chinese Ambassador to SA Lin Songtian on Thursday said he was prepared to share lessons learnt by his native country and how it has emancipated its people throughout the years.

"I am fully committed to promoting the China-African friendship and am deeply honoured and proud to be able to  participate and promote the great cause of China-Africa win-win cooperation for common development. I wish to use the opportunity given to share  some of my thoughts on how China has transformed from poverty to prosperity," he said at a press briefing held at the embassy headquarters in Pretoria.

Songtian's remarks come two days after Statistician-General Pali Lehohla released a report which stated that more than 30 million South Africans live in poverty.

In June SA slipped into recession with its gross domestic product (GDP) declining to 0.7% during the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile China, South Africa's trading and BRICS partner, is the second largest economy, manufacture with the largest trading partner in the world.

Describing China's "development miracle", Songtian said from 1978, China's GDP for its 700 million population for had increased significantly from $216.8 billion to $11 trillion, adding by 2020, China would eliminate poverty entirely for its 1.4 billion population.

"This is a solemn commitment that the Chinese Communist party and the Chinese government has made to its people," he said.

He added as the new ambassador to South Africa he would deepen and enrich China-SA comprehensive strategic partnership to to take core actions to support efforts of the South African government to grow the its economy and improve people's livelihoods.

Ambassador Lin Songtian with some of the South African students and academics who will be studying in China. Picture: Noni Mokati.

"We will actively support the efforts of the SA government in economic and social transformation through economic growth, job creation and poverty reductions so so as to achieve universal inclusive growth," he said.

He said the key elements to China pulling out its people out of poverty and lack was the emphasis by the government and the Communist Party to put its citizens first.

"We are not perfect. We are a developing country. But China puts people ahead of government. We say don't forget the people or you'll be forgotten by the people," he said.

Songtian said countries on the African Continent also had to open p themselves to learning and attractive foreign investors in order to thrive.

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