Golden Era in China – South Africa Relations, Promising Future: Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping believes China-South Africa relationship has entered a golden era, enjoying broad prospects and a promising future. He hailed it as one of the most vibrant bilateral relations in the developing world. This is the Chinese president’s first visit to South Africa in five years.
The African National Congress Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula said President Xi’s visit is very important in enhancing and strengthening bilateral relations, including trade relations between the two countries. It should be noted that China has maintained its position as South Africa’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years, and South Africa has been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 13 consecutive years.
Mbalula called the bilateral ties stronger and stronger, with relations formed by ties of anti-imperialism, multipolarity – China and South Africa believe in and strong ties of economic relationship.
Xi Jinping reinforced China’s commitment with South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Tuesday. He said China is willing to work with South Africa to deepen cooperation, strengthen collaboration and push their comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level. “Regardless of what happens in global affairs, China’s commitment to deepening the friendly and cooperative relations between China and South Africa will remain unchanged.”
China supports call on the African continent for changes to global governance institutions. Beijing promised to help Africa and the Global South to have a bigger voice, including in the United Nations Security Council. “We firmly support the African integration process and the African Union’s accession to the G20 to make substantial progress this year. We support South Africa in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs.”
The Chinese and South African governments signed a series of cooperation deals, ranging from infrastructure development and energy, to tourism, education, and digital technology. Both countries agreed to deepen cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and build a Confucius Institute in South Africa.
The two countries also discussed the Russia-Ukraine war and its impact on developing countries. Xi Jinping commended South Africa’s initiative in sending the peace mission.