Pretoria - The Chinese embassy in South Africa is sending 31 student leaders from the South African Students Congress (SASCO) to China to take part in a two-week summer camp and exchange programme.
Ambassador of China in South Africa Lin Songtian hosted the students from different South African universities at the Embassy of China in Pretoria on Sunday.
The aim of the trip is a pioneering step taken by China to promote human relations and friendship between the two countries, and in particular the youth, in line with the eight major initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping at the 2018 Beijing FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation), to strengthen bilateral relations between China and South Africa.
The ambassador stated on Sunday that the focus of the programme would be on education, economics and culture.
Speaking at a press briefing, Ambassador Lin highlighted the development and growth of China over the past 70 years.
He highlighted the similarities between China and South Africa and also spoke in depth about the major cities the student delegates would visit including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Lin mentioned that the two-week trip would be an eye opener to the students about life in China.
He spoke about the economic rise of Shenzhen and how he would like the students to learn from the socialist culture of the Chinese government saying: “The fundamental difference between socialism and capitalism is that the rich get richer and the poor remain poor. All the people in Shenzhen are happy, they benefited from socialism, and we want them to go there and see the development and interact with our Chinese students.”
The itinerary will be a textbook lesson on the country in real life. “We have invited the delegation to take a tour and see what China has been through in the past, is experiencing in the present, and its plans for the future.”
The ambassador went on to quote President Cyril Ramaphosa who said, “Where there is unity, there is growth."
"Unity and stability are the most important priorities, with a focus on economic development. The government of China commits itself to the student delegation and to the fight against poverty for common prosperity."
The Ambassador said that the Chinese embassy and government hope the tour to China will create harmony and synergy between the youth of our two countries.
The students said they looked forward to tasting the food, interacting with other student leaders in China, and most importantly strengthening relations between China and South Africa.
The summer camp and exchange programme is funded by the Chinese Embassy in South Africa and the Chinese Government, in association with SASCO, and will take place from September 9-23.