Media statement

04 September 2015

President Zuma concludes working visit to the People's Republic of China

President Jacob Zuma has, at the invitation of His Excellency Presidency Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, participated in a commemorative event in Beijing on 03 September 2015, to mark the 70th Anniversary of the End of the Occupation of China and the Second World War.

The President was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and Ms Thembisile Majola-Embalo, Deputy Minister of Energy.

President Zuma stated that South Africa was honoured to be part of the commemoration which not only showcased China’s military capacity, but also China’s commitment to working with the international community in the maintenance of peace and security.

"As a major power, China has consistently used its strength for defending peace and security globally and not for aggression," said President Zuma.

The President also emphasised that South Africa should strengthen its security capacity in order to continue contributing effectively to peace and security on the Continent. Furthermore, President Zuma stated that there are lessons to be learned from China's success today which is due to patriotism and discipline.

 "Over 35 million Chinese lost their lives defending their country during World War II. By any standard, the loss of life and pain endured was indeed tremendous.  Despite this devastation, China emerged as among the world's key nations and utilised its political influence and economic power to build friendships with other nations. In this regard, China played an important role in supporting liberation movements on the Continent. This was evident during the 70th Anniversary celebrations as nine African countries were represented," said President Zuma.

President Zuma held bilateral talks on the margins of the commemorative event with President Xi Jinping. The two leaders discussed the status of bilateral relations between the two countries, namely, the "Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation", which focuses among others, on marine cooperation, infrastructure development, and industrial development.

The two leaders also discussed South Africa's hosting of the Second Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), scheduled for 04-05 December 2015 in Johannesburg.

"As co-Chair of FOCAC for the period 2012-2018, South Africa looks forward to hosting this historic event. This will be the second Summit since the inception of FOCAC and the first on the African Continent," said President Zuma.

The President stated that China has an historical relationship with Africa and that the time has come to give real impetus to the partnership by enhancing industrialisation and infrastructure development on the Continent.

President Zuma concluded by stating that as a member of BRICS, South Africa initiated dialogue between the BRICS members and the leaders on the Continent in 2013, which has now become a practice.

"With the establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank, it will be important to interlink it with infrastructure development on the Continent," said President Zuma.

President Zuma also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Sudan.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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