Joining Hands towards a New Journey of China-South Africa Relations

Cape Times (South Africa), January 2, 2018 | Go to article overview

Joining Hands towards a New Journey of China-South Africa Relations


On January 1, 1998, the national flag of China was raised in South Africa, marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Time flies.

After 20 years of joint efforts, China-South Africa relations have entered their best historical period with unprecedented political mutual trust, mutually beneficial business co-operation and people-to-people friendship, becoming a model for China-Africa and South-South co-operation.

The high degree of political mutual trust has been the anchor of our relations. Over the past 20 years, China-SA relations have achieved leapfrog development.

Both countries regard each other as the strategic priority in its foreign affairs. President Xi Jinping and President Jacob Zuma have held nine bilateral meetings in recent years, reaching a host of important agreements on comprehensively deepening political mutual trust, mutually beneficial business co-operation, people-to-people exchange and co-operation in regional and international affairs, lifting our comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height.

The mutually beneficial economic co-operation has been the engine of our ties. China has for eight consecutive years remained South Africa's largest trading partner.

China is also South Africa's largest source of foreign investment.

South Africa is China's biggest trading partner and the most important destination for Chinese investment in Africa.

In 2016, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $35.3 billion, equivalent to over 20 times of growth from the 1998 level at the beginning of our diplomatic ties.

Chinese investment in South Africa has grown from zero to an accumulative total of over $20bn of direct investment, reaching thousands of businesses in South Africa.

China-SA mutually beneficial business co-operation has demonstrated robust momentum of extensive, multi-tiered and all-directional rapid development, bringing concrete and tangible benefits to the two peoples.

People-to-people exchange has helped foster sound public support for our friendship. Together, China and South Africa have achieved many firsts in China-South Africa and China-Africa exchange, including the Year of China in South Africa, the Year of South Africa in China, and the launch of the China-SA High Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism.

Today, South Africa stands as the largest host in Africa for of Chinese tourists, students, overseas Chinese, as well as the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms. The Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and China's experience on governance have also won high praises and wide recognition across South African society. …

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