Joint communiqué between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, Pretoria, 26 March 2013.
At the invitation of His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, paid a State Visit to the Republic of South Africa from 25 to 26 March 2013. During his visit, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Zuma and met with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
The two sides applauded the phenomenal progress in bilateral relations which in the space of fifteen years has evolved from a Partnership to a Strategic Partnership and then to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This strengthening of relations is indicative of the vitality and growing importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The two sides also noted that the bilateral relationship is among the most vibrant and important relationships each country has and it continues to acquire increasing strategic depth and global significance. Both Leaders agreed to make the bilateral relationship a strategic focus and priority in their respective foreign policies. They agreed to further expand and deepen political, economic and trade cooperation; people-to-people and cultural exchange, as well as in international and regional affairs according to the principles of friendship and mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, coordination, mutual learning and working together for development, all of which would take the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to new heights.
The two sides agreed to maintain momentum of High-level exchanges and dialogue and fully leverage such mechanisms as the Bi-National Commission, the Regular Exchange Mechanism between the National Assembly of the Parliament of South Africa and the National People’s Congress of China and the Strategic Dialogue. The two sides agreed to hold the 5th Plenary Session of the Bi-National Commission in Beijing in the second half of 2013.
The leaders noted with satisfaction that economic and trade cooperation has become an important driver of bilateral relations. The Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China offers a wide scope of cooperation that should be utilised to the fullest. The two sides will thus further strengthen economic cooperation for mutual benefit and broaden their converging interests to benefit the peoples of both countries:
4.1. The two sides encourage further enlargement and improvement of two-way trade, improvement of trade mix, promotion of trade balance and more trade in value-added goods, promoting value-added activities within close proximity to the source of raw material and providing technical support to each other in the areas of green economy, skills transfer and industrial financing.
4.2. South Africa welcomes Chinese investments in all areas, especially in areas that promote job creation and will provide support and facilitation for that purpose. China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in South Africa and welcomes the increase of South African investments in China. The two sides also encourage more cooperation between their financial institutions to help fund cooperation between their enterprises.
4.3 The two leaders exchanged views on the recently established Joint Working Group. They agreed to make full use of the Joint Working Group to monitor the implementation of cooperative projects in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure, energy, communication, agriculture and human resource development and resolve obstacles that may occur during the implementation of projects.
The two leaders shared the view that the flourishing of people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in recent years has laid a solid foundation for the growth of bilateral relations, which necessitates more such exchanges and cooperation. In this context, the two leaders agreed to:
5.1. Designate 2014 as the “Year of South Africa” in China, and 2015 as the “Year of China” in South Africa. A series of events will be held by the two sides.
5.2. Further strengthen bilateral cooperation in human resources. The Chinese side will provide more training opportunities to the South African side, especially employment-oriented training and cooperation for South African youth. The two sides will expand cooperation in basic and higher education and strengthen the exchange and sharing of research output. China welcomes and supports the efforts of South Africa to host more Confucius Institutes and strengthen Chinese language training.
5.3.Strengthen exchanges and cooperation between press media, academic institutions, and think-tanks as well as youth and women organisations.
The two Leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues:
6.1.They pointed out that the international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes: the trend towards a multi-polar world is deepening the capability of emerging markets and developing countries continues to strengthen, and reform of global economic governance is underway. The two sides appealed to countries all over the world to establish a more equal and balanced global partnership for development, address global challenges through unity and cooperation for mutual benefit. The two sides agreed to further strengthen their co-ordination and co-operation in international affairs, as well as in the UN, G20, BRICS, and BASIC Group, accommodate each other’s concerns and aspirations; uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, make the international order and system fairer and more equitable, and help to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and shared prosperity.
6.2. Both Leaders agreed that since the dawn of the new century, the situation in Africa has improved significantly. Economic growth, acceleration of the continental integration process and a steady rise in its international profile has been noted. On the other hand, the cause of peace and development in Africa still faces many challenges. The two sides called on the international community to pay more attention and provide greater support to Africa, respect African countries’ efforts to solve regional issues on their own and help them enhance capability for self-generated development.
Both leaders agreed that the comprehensive development in China – Africa relations and continuous deepening of practical cooperation in various fields driven by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) not only benefits the two sides, but also contributes positively to the stability and development of the world. They emphasized priority areas in support of African development. As Co-Chairs of FOCAC over the next three years, the two sides will further strengthen bilateral cooperation in FOCAC affairs and implement the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan (2013 – 2015) of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC thereby injecting new impetus to the development of China - Africa relations and elevating the New Type of China – Africa Strategic Partnership to a higher level.
China wished South Africa every success in hosting the Fifth BRICS Summit and is fully convinced that the meeting will promote cooperation among BRICS countries and between BRICS and African countries, as well as enhancing the BRICS mechanism. The two sides will make joint efforts to carry out the outcomes of the meeting and further advance the progress of the BRICS mechanism.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of inter-governmental agreements, memorandums of understanding, and undertakings between enterprises, aimed at strengthening and deepening bilateral relations.
Both Leaders shared the view that the visit was a great success and ushered in a new and historical phase of development for the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between South Africa and China.