Closing Remarks by Deputy President
Jacob Zuma, on the Occasion of the South Africa-People's
Republic of China Binational Commission, Pretoria, 29
Your Excellency Mr Vice President,
Honorable Ministers from the People's Republic of China
and from South Africa,
Other senior representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have come to the end of a very fruitful session of
the Second South Africa-People's Republic of China Binational
I would like to express our satisfaction with the progress
and achievements we have made in this Session. This
has assisted us in building further on the successes
of the first Meeting of the BNC which took place in
Beijing in December 2001.
In our fruitful deliberations, we exchanged ideas and
reached broad consensus on a range of issues, and have
actually elevated the strategic partnerships between
the two countries to a new high.
It is clear that the growing number of exchanges, especially
in areas of trade, culture, education, science and technology
and international affairs, have deepened, strengthened
and diversified our Partnership.
I am glad to note the specific achievements and progress
reported by the Sectoral Committee Meetings, as well
as meetings between South African Ministers and Deputy
Ministers and their counterparts from the Chinese side.
These augur well for growing co-operation and engagement.
As a relatively young nation, we regard education and
human resource development as critical areas of co-operation
and investment. In this regard, the establishment of
a new Sectoral Committee on Education is a step in the
right direction for the BNC.
We are also confident that positive results will emanate
from the Agreement on Education Cooperation, as well
as the Exchange of Letters with regard to granting aid
for human resources development, which have been signed
Regarding economic relations, we have agreed that there
should be an early start to the negotiations towards
a Free Trade Agreement between China and the Southern
African Customs Union.
In addition, South Africa's recognition of China's
Market Economy Status will improve linkages between
our two economies. It will establish common principles
and standards in the negotiation of rules that will
govern bilateral trade.
Co-operation on agriculture is another significant
area of economic engagement, and we are delighted with
the progress made during this BNC. We welcome the signing
of the agreements including the Memorandum of Understanding
regarding the export of South African agricultural products
to China, which would improve our access to the huge
We also welcome the business to business agreements
that have been signed here today as well, the Cooperation
Agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of South Africa and the China Council for the Promotion
of International Trade, as well as the Letter of Intent
between Sasol and the Consortium of Chinese Companies.
This BNC has also agreed to continue strengthening
South-South cooperation, and to collaborate on issues
pertaining to the WTO, to safeguard the interests of
the developing world. The ill-fated WTO round of talks
at Cancun indicated that the South needs to remain united
and focused in order to achieve its development goals.
Ladies and gentlemen, South Africa and China are important
partners in the pursuit of a new international political
and economic order based on peace, stability, justice
In this regard, the BNC discussed several issues facing
the international community in the twenty-first century.
These include security issues such as conflict resolution
in Africa, the Middle East peace process, events in
Iraq and the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
Having gone through a protracted conflict over many
decades in our country, we believe that the quest for
peace is paramount, and that efforts must be made to
find peace in every corner of the world.
In this international search for peace, the United
Nations must play a key role in order to safeguard world
order and stability. The adherence to international
law and norms when responding to security challenges
that the world faces is crucial.
There should therefore be no alternative to multilateralism
in international affairs, and I am pleased Your Excellency
that our two countries share this view.
Your Excellency, South Africa believes that the peaceful
resolution of conflicts is the only sustainable way
of achieving peace and finding lasting solutions. That
view informs our active involvement in peacemaking and
peacemaking on the African continent.
We are not alone in this view, as evidenced by the
new activism for peace within the African continent,
especially in light of the drive for the regeneration
of the continent. This renewal necessitates the eradication
of conflicts, to prepare the continent for sustainable
development and progress.
The African Union Heads of State and Government Summit
will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia next week,
and among the topics for discussion is the question
of eradicating conflicts.
South Africa will assume chairpersonship of the newly-established
AU Peace and Security Council for the month of July,
and the PSC is expected to make recommendations to the
Summit on the peace processes in Burundi, Darfur, Cote'
d Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A lot has been done to attempt to bring about peace
in the respective countries, which indicates the seriousness
with which conflict resolution is now taken in the continent.
However, the issue of resources, both human and material,
usually becomes a hindrance.
We would therefore appreciate any kind of support in
this regard, and are pleased with the support already
pledged under the auspices of the China-Africa Forum.
An investment in peace and stability is a noble investment,
and one that will yield returns for generations to come.
Your excellency, as this BNC draws to a close, let
me express my sincere appreciation to you as Co-Chair
for your friendship and leadership during this meeting.
I hope that you have enjoyed our hospitality as much
as we were privileged to host you and your delegation.
Let me also express my appreciation to both our delegations
for their hard work, which resulted in the success of
I wish you and your team well on the journey back home,
and I look forward to continued vibrant cooperation
between our two countries.
I Thank you
The Presidency: Republic of South Africa