OPINIONS China-South Africa ties to embrace new era


China-South Africa ties to embrace new era

People's Daily online

22:49, July 27, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a two-day state visit to South Africa starting on July 23. Pretoria, administrative capital of South Africa raised Chinese national flag to welcome the president’s third visit, which is the highest level of reception courtesy of the “rainbow nation”.

During his visit, Xi held talks with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, attended the South Africa-China Scientists High Level Dialogue and a welcome banquet to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa.

The two heads of state reached important consensus on the promotion of China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era. The fruitful achievements of the cooperation between the two countries are inspiring.

China and South Africa have stood together through thick and thin. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties two decades ago, they have comprehensively deepened bilateral relationship, and made a giant leap by upgrading their relations from partnership to strategic partnership, and then a comprehensive strategic partnership.

China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for nine straight years, and South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa.

South Africa has attracted more Chinese tourists, established sister relations with more Chinese provinces and cities, and opened more Confucius Institutes and classrooms than any other Sub-Saharan African countries.

The two countries have constituted a great epitome of the deepening China-Africa cooperation by taking multiple “firsts” and “mosts”, setting a good example for the collaboration between major developing countries.

Xi attributed the fruitful outcomes of bilateral ties in just 20 years to the fact that the two sides always support and rely on each other, maintain mutual respect and trust, and promote mutual understanding and win-win cooperation. It has cemented political, economic and strategic foundations, as well as people-to-people bond and public support for the development of bilateral ties.

What Xi said was a masterly generalization of the experience in the development of China-South Africa ties, and also a precise summation of state-to-state relations.

Advancing with times and being enriched with new contents, the relationship between China and South Africa has been gradually solidified in the past two decades. It even goes beyond bilateral level and starts to place impacts on the globe at large. It is an important demonstration for the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

The new South Africa, established 24 years ago, is now embarking on a new journey of national construction and development, with developing the economy, creating jobs, improving people's lives and advancing social transformation as its new goals. The 50 million South Africans are endeavoring to lead their country into a new era of hope and confidence.

In the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China is playing a bigger role in global economy and governance, and its cooperation with Africa and developing countries is becoming more important. 

Under such background, China and South Africa will embrace historic opportunities of building on past successes to further advance the bilateral ties.

From a strategic and long-term perspective, Xi expounded the essence of developing China-South Africa relationship, and made a vital top-level design. 

In his signed article, he said that “we must steadily elevate our political mutual trust to new levels; we must strive for new outcomes in our practical cooperation; we must increase communication to add new impetus to our people-to-people exchanges; we must strengthen collaboration and scale new heights in our strategic coordination”. 

The Chinese President also stressed that the two countries should enhance cooperation on politics, economy, people-to-people bonds and security and law-enforcement, and also increase coordination within multilateral frameworks. 

Ramaphosa noted that it is in the fundamental and long-term interests of South Africa to continue to strengthen political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, enhance scientific, technological and people-to-people exchanges with China, and promote bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, together we can do more. 

The year of 2018, which marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-South Africa ties, would be the witness of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit and the 10th BRICS summit respectively hosted by China and South Africa.

Xi’s visit will serve as an opportunity to promote the docking of Chinese and South African development strategies, unite the power of the people from the two countries to go for better lives, and open up a new chapter for the friendly relationship between the two countries.

His visit is also of great importance to both countries and their peoples, China-Africa ties, and the collaboration among emerging markets. 

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