SA and China strengthen political, trade relations

South Africa and the People’s Republic of China have reaffirmed political support for each other’s core interests during a State Visit at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

Delivering his remarks during a media briefing, President Ramaphosa said South Africa was honoured to receive President Xi on his fourth State Visit to South Africa ahead of the 15th BRICS Summit which both leaders look forward to.

President Xi’s visit coincides with 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, while historic ties date back to the Bandung conference of 1955.

“During this State Visit, South Africa and China have reaffirmed political support for each other’s core interests.

“We also agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure development, energy, tourism, education and training, and digital technologies. President Xi and I look forward to the upcoming BRICS Summit, and have agreed that BRICS must play an expanded role in global affairs,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President highlighted that China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and South Africa is China’s biggest trading partner in Africa.

The two leaders discussed the need to narrow the trade deficit between South Africa and China, and that one of the ways to do this is by ensuring greater market access for value-added South African export goods into the Chinese market.

On multilateral cooperation, the two leaders agreed to consult closely on issues of common concern, including in the context of BRICS, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the G77 plus China, and the G20.

“We have discussed areas of synergy in line with the call by South Africa and other African countries for the reform of institutions of global governance, notably the United Nations Security Council. We agree that the interests of the Global South must be fairly represented on all multilateral fora,” he said.

Russia-Ukraine conflict

The Heads of State further discussed the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its significant impact on developing economies in Africa and elsewhere.

“We both agreed on the importance of dialogue and negotiation between the two sides. As South Africa, we are encouraged that President Xi has welcomed the peace mission to Russia and Ukraine initiated by African leaders.


President Ramaphosa, along with President Xi will be co-chairing a China-Africa Leaders’ Roundtable on the sidelines of the State Visit.

The purpose of the roundtable is to further deepen cooperation between China and the African continent on the development, industrialisation and integration of African economies.

President Ramaphosa said they are gratified that the friendship between the People’s Republic of China and South Africa has endured.

“The friendship that exists between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China is living proof of what is set out in the Freedom Charter, which is the forerunner of the South African Constitution, which declared that: “There shall be Peace and Friendship.”

“We look forward to a new era of even stronger ties, underpinned by our commitment to achieving common prosperity for our respective peoples and the Global South in general,” he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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