Toast Remarks of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki,
in honour of His Excellency, The President of The People's Republic of China,
Hu Jintao, on the occasion of the State Banquet - Presidential Guesthouse, Tshwane,
6 February 2007
Your Excellency, President of the People's Republic
of China, Hu Jintao,
Your Excellency, Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka,
Excellencies Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors
and High Commissioners,
Ladies and gentlemen:
am privileged once more to extend a very warm South African welcome to you, Your
Excellency, and the esteemed members of your delegation. We fondly remember your
earlier visit to our country, when you were the Vice President of the People's
Republic of China.
Your Excellency, the importance of the Strategic Partnership
which we enjoy with the People''s Republic of China is of special significance
to us and we value it dearly.
Indeed, South Africa places an extremely
high value and regard for the very warm ties of friendship which exist between
the governments and peoples of the Republic of South Africa and the People''s
Republic of China.
Your visit has served further to cement the friendship
between our two countries and, once again, to convey the commitment of the People's
Republic of China to advancing the wide-ranging relations between our countries.
really appreciate, Your Excellency, the frequent high level visits you, Prime
Minister Wen Jiabao, and other Chinese leaders have made to Africa. These underscore
the deep commitment of the People's Republic of China to the bonds of friendship
and cooperation with our continent.
We would also like to assure Your Excellency
that we too are equally committed to work together with the People's Republic
of China further to enhance our mutually beneficial relationship.
happy indeed with the outcome of the substantive and wide-ranging talks we had
today, and the agreements we have signed, which confirm our shared resolve to
continue working closely together in the interest of both our peoples.
me once more thank Your Excellency most sincerely for the initiative taken by
the Government of China to support our own efforts further to develop our people,
by setting up of a Vocational Training Centre in South Africa as well as assisting
us to establish an Agricultural Technology Cooperation Centre. This is in addition
to your generous provision of assistance to our ASGISA and JIPSA initiatives.
Excellency, although we may define it in different terms, we share a common vision
for the future of our respective peoples. Your vision for the creation of a harmonious
society and our government's determination to work towards a better life for all
in a people-centred society, underscore the need for us to continue cooperating
in our efforts to eradicate poverty and to advance the interests of the billions
of people in Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the developing world.
multilateral front, again we share common goals, such as the need to reform the
multilateral institutions to ensure a more inclusive and democratic global system
In this regard I would like to convey our sincere appreciation
for the assistance that China has extended to us to enable us the better to discharge
our responsibilities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
with regard to the international trading system, we agree on the need to conclude
the WTO Doha Development Round negotiations as speedily as possible, fully respecting
the central objective of this Round of addressing the development imperatives
of the developing world.
Unfortunately, some countries, especially in Africa
and the Middle East, continue to be engulfed by war and civil strife which claim
many innocent lives. We will continue to work with China within the UN system
to assist in finding solutions to these urgent problems, in the interest of peace,
reconciliation and post-conflict reconstruction.
Your Excellency, I am
also pleased to reiterate the commitment of the Republic of South Africa to the
strengthening of the cooperation with the People's Republic of China so as to
advance the agenda of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation and the implementation
of the Beijing Plan of Action. We are convinced, Your Excellency, that the implementation
of this Plan of Action will be of enormous benefit both to China and Africa.
the same time, we also welcome China''s unwavering commitment and support for
the African Union's development agenda, the New Partnership for Africa's Development,
Your Excellency, as you are aware, through the Joint Communiqué
issued at the end of our discussions, we have both reiterated our commitment to
the development and expansion of our bilateral relations along the lines of four
principles, namely: Mutual Political Trust and Strategic Consultation; Enhancement
of Economic Cooperation and Trade; Coordination and Cooperation through Diplomatic
Consultations; and the strengthening of Cultural and People to People Interaction.
serves as a clear demonstration of the progress we have made in establishing a
firm base for the further deepening of our bilateral relations, representative
of the warm feelings of friendship that our peoples share. I therefore have no
hesitation in inviting Your Excellency to consider South Africa as your home away-from-home,
as we always feel at home whenever we have occasion to visit China.
more, Your Excellency, a warm welcome to you and many thanks for visiting us.
Please rise and join me in a toast to the good health and
prosperity of His Excellency, President Hu Jintao and to the everlasting and enduring
friendship between the wonderful people of the People's Republic of China and
the people of the Republic of South Africa. To friendship!