Joint Communiqué on the occasion of the Launch of the South Africa-China High Level People-To-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM)
1. On 24 April 2017, the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, hosted the Vice-Premier of State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Ms Liu Yandong in Pretoria, South Africa, for the launch of the South Africa-China High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism (PPEM).
2. During the State Visit of His Excellency, President Xi Jinping to South Africa in December 2015, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma and President Xi Jinping agreed to establish the South Africa-China High Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism.
3. The objective of the PPEM is to deepen mutual understanding between the peoples of South Africa and China and to enhance people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in areas of, among others, culture; international relations; education; communication; health; science and technology; sports; tourism; women affairs and youth.
4. Following the launch of the PPEM, the following side-events took place; the South Africa-China High-Level Seminar on Thought Exchanges Dialogue, launch ceremony of the South Africa-China Science Park Cooperation, China-Africa Youth Festival, Africa-China Health Ministers’ Conference. In addition, the Chinese government donated medical equipment to Steve Biko Academic hospital.
5. To further strengthen bilateral cooperation and provide the platform for future cooperation, three Agreements and three Memoranda of Understanding were signed in the areas of Arts and Culture, Higher Education and Training, Communication and Science & Technology.
6. Vice Premier Liu Yandong paid a Courtesy Call on His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma and they both expressed their satisfaction that the PPEM has been launched to further strengthen the South Africa-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Relations.
7. Vice Premier Liu Yandong also held bilateral meetings with Co-Chairperson, Minister Nathi Mthethwa and the Minister of International Relations & Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and they noted that 2018 will mark 20 year celebrations of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
8. To celebrate the launch of the PPEM and to promote cultural diplomacy, cultural performances from both South Africa and China took place at the State Theatre in Pretoria on 25 April 2017.
ISSUED IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
26 APRIL 2017