People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping received a warm welcome at Pretoria's Union Buildings on Tuesday ahead of his talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Xi inspected the guard of hour as well as the 21-gun salute before engaging with Ramaphosa for bilateral talks.
This is Xi’s fourth state visit to SA.
During the talks, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa's diplomatic relations with China spans a period of 25 years and that the Asian country has been instrumental in assisting South Africa with its development from the ruins of Apartheid.
He passed his "deep gratitude and appreciation" to the people of China for aiding SA in its struggle for freedom.
China is SA's largest trading partner and the two countries with significant investment made over the years by the Chinese, particularly in the infrastructure sector.
Ramphosa said: “Over the years, the relationship between South Africa and China has been steadily strengthened and has transformed into a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is underpinned by 10-Year Strategic Programmes of Cooperation.”
He added: “China and South Africa share common goals of economic growth, development and common prosperity for our respective countries and for all countries of the Global South. It is this common outlook that has enabled us to deepen our cooperation on several fronts.”
He also highlighted that the country is “inspired by China’s common prosperity strategy, and are encouraged that this includes improving the welfare and well-being of all countries of the Global South.”
Key among some the talks between the two leaders was also FOCAC-related infrastructural development projects that have already been implimented.
Ramaphosa and Xi alongside officials signed 10 trade and bilateral agreements before heading out to join other leaders for the 15th BRICS Summit held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.