Remarks by President Jacob Zuma at the Media Conference during the State Visit to China; Beijing, 25 August 2010
On behalf of the government and people of the Republic of South Africa, we extend our good wishes and gratitude to the government and the people of the People’s Republic of China for their hospitality and successful State visit to this country.
We thank our hosts for their warmth and the excellent facilities that have been put at our disposal during our stay.
This visit has come at a most opportune time. We are marking 12 years of China-South Africa relations. We have just hosted the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament, and are participating in the successful Shanghai Expo.
All these have helped to market South Africa in China and to further promote relations between the two countries.
We have now concluded the tour to all countries within the emerging Brazil, Russia, India and China grouping known as BRIC, and have cemented relations with this powerful and influential group of developing countries.
We have concluded a state visit to China which is a historical friend of our people, since the days of the struggle for freedom. To date, our relations are strong at both governmental as well as party to party levels.
Since the establishment of the formal diplomatic relations with China in 1998, we have through several bilateral instruments, signed more than 60 joint agreements on a wide range of fields. A lot of work has been undertaken to implement the agreements, and also to enhance cooperation at an Africa-China level through the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation.
During this visit we signed one agreement and six memoranda of understanding, aimed at further strengthening ties and to implement areas of cooperation.
The highlight of the visit has been the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership declaration, covering many facets of the South Africa-China bilateral relationship.
A key element of this expanded Partnership is the Partnership for Growth and Development, focusing on key issues such as beneficiation and value addition to resources, infrastructure, market access and trade to the SADC region and Africa as a whole.
The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will guide South Africa’s overall interaction with China over the next ten to fifteen years.
It is premised amongst others on the following:
- Balancing the current structure of trade between the two countries;
- Increasing investment in South Africa’s manufacturing industry and promoting the creation of value-adding activities in close proximity to the source of the raw materials, and;
- Cooperation and mutual technical support in the areas of the green economy, skills development and industrial financing.
It provides a comprehensive framework on which to base our relations and to implement undertakings and objectives.
We welcome the fact that China has expressed a willingness to support South Africa on working to deliver on its five national priorities.
These are education and training; the fight against crime; health; creating decent jobs as well as land and rural development.
We have emphasized during this visit that South Africa is open for business, and encouraged more interaction between our respective business sectors.
In taking these intentions forward, we brought a delegation of more than 350 businesspeople to China to explore opportunities.
We reiterate that China is indeed a key strategic partner for South Africa. China has become a major investor in key sectors of our economy, such as mining and financial services.
We envisage meaningful future co-operation in infrastructure, the beneficiation of minerals, engineering, energy, information and communications technology and electronics.
We have also agreed on cooperation on new areas of energy conservation, adaptation in the context of Sino-Africa Climate Change cooperation, the 20-20 University cooperation project as well as joint Science and Technology research.
Before concluding let me express our sincere condolences for the loss of lives due to the mudslides and floods in this country.
We also learned with shock and regret about the hostage drama in the Philippines in which some citizens of China were amongst those tragically killed.
Let me once again extend our gratitude to our hosts for the excellent arrangements, and for ensuring a successful visit.
We will today proceed to Shanghai where we will interact with business and also visit the acclaimed Shanghai Expo.
I Thank You!