JOHANNESBURG, January 9 – President Jacob Zuma on Monday expressed his well wishes on the occasion of 20 years of diplomatic relations with China, saying that these relations should be further reinforced and more opportunities explored to create a win-win cooperation for both Republics.
In a statement, Zuma said: “The Government and the people of the Republic of South Africa join me in conveying to the Government and people of the People’s Republic of China our warmest greetings.”
According to the Presidency, having established formal ties on 1 January 1998, the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China have reached the important milestone on 1 January 2018 of 20 years of formal diplomatic relations. Over the past 20 years, the two countries achieved a significant level of bilateral cooperation agreements in areas including trade, investment, economic and people-to-people relations.
China is not only South Africa’s largest trading partner, but it has also emerged in recent years as a significant investor in both infrastructure and industrial projects in South Africa.
In the previous two decades, amongst others, the countries have assumed increased strategic significance, starting with a Partnership in 2000, to a Strategic Partnership in 2004 and ultimately to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) since the signing of the Beijing Declaration in 2010.
The year 2017 also saw South Africa and China strengthening friendship through the inaugural of South Africa-China High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism which took place in Pretoria, in April 2017.
South Africa also advanced the China-Africa partnership by continuing to co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and working towards the implementation of the outcomes of the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit.
China agreed to support South Africa and Africa’s initiatives of industrialisation and beneficiation.
China successfully hosted the ninth BRICS Summit in Xiamen in 2017, with South Africa scheduled to host the tenth BRICS Summit in 2018.
– African News Agency (ANA),