Media Statement

23 April 2017

South Africa to host the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China for the launch of the High-Level People-To-People Exchange Mechanism

The South African Government will from 24-27 April 2017 host the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency Liu Yandong, for the inaugural session of the South Africa-China High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM).

The People-to-People Exchange Mechanism will seek to enhance mutual trust, friendship and strategic partnership between the people of both countries.  On a practical level, it will create opportunities for both peoples to benefit from the sharing of social, cultural and economic capital – across government, academia, business and civil society. In this regard, the People-to-People Exchange Mechanism will enhance cooperation in a number of thematic areas such as culture, education, science and technology, health, tourism, sport and recreation, as well as communication.

During the State Visit to South Africa by the President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, in December 2015, South Africa and China agreed to establish the PPEM.

Subsequently, President Jacob Zuma appointed the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, to co-chair the PPEM, working with the Chinese Government through the Vice Premier.

To support the establishment, President Jacob Zuma established an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprised of the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Basic Education, Higher Education and Training, Science and Technology, Health, Communications, Sports and Recreation, Tourism, as well as the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women and the Deputy Minister in the Presidency.

South Africa and China bilateral relations take place within the context of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) Framework. China is South Africa's biggest trading partner and is also the second biggest economy in the world.

The two countries share membership of, and participate as partners in, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), the BASIC Group on Climate Change (Brazil, India and China), the Group of 77 + China and the G20, among others. South Africa and China are also Co-Chairs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

It is expected that several Agreements will be signed during the visit. These include Agreements in the areas of higher education and training, youth, research, arts and culture and communications.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 0828845974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
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