Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Beijing - International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in China on Wednesday to co-chair an SA-China inter-ministerial working group, her department said.

This was the first meeting of the joint working group on co-operation, spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

Its objectives were to monitor implementation of co-operative projects, and to improve bilateral economic relations.

“During the state visit to South Africa by President Xi Jinping in March 2013, the 'terms of reference of the South Africa-China inter-ministerial joint working group on co-operation' were signed,” Monyela said.

The objective of the group, among other things, was to achieve a more equitable trade balance, encourage trade in manufactured value-added products, increase investment in South Africa's manufacturing industry, and pursue opportunities to co-operate in infrastructure construction projects such as roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports, and housing.