Remarks by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to a Media Briefing today, 2 September 2010, in Cape Town

We have just returned from a successful State Visit from China, which took place from
23 – 26 August 2010. President Jacob G. Zuma was accompanied by 14 Ministers and more than 380 business persons.  This signifies the unprecedented interest this visit enjoyed in South Africa. It is also a reflection of the growing economic relations between SA and China, and the increase in people-to-people contacts between our two nations. It also mirrors the fact that the rise of the Chinese economy has not gone unnoticed in South Africa.

The overall objective of the State Visit was to strengthen and deepen the relations between SA and China to the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.  The specific objectives of the State Visit were the following:

  • To sign the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Declaration
  • To strengthen bilateral economic and trade relations
  • To strengthen cooperation between SA and China in advancing Peace, Security and Socio-Economic Development on the African Continent
  • To coordinate multilateral positions with China in the UNSC, G20, Climate Change and South-South organisations.

 Successes of the Visit

  • The Presidents co-signed the Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

(South Africa is the first African country to sign such a Declaration with China and China has signed Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with only eleven countries throughout the world. South Africa views the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as the beginning of a new Chapter in our relations that would guide and serve as a framework for SA–China relations for the next ten to fifteen (10-15) years.

  • For the first time China has committed in the CSP to the following:

    • Work towards more balance of trade,
    • Encouraging trade in manufactured value – added products,
    • Increase trade and investment Missions,
    • Establishment of a Joint Working Group on trade statistics,
    • China to encourage its enterprises to increase investment in SA’s manufacturing industry,
    • Promote value-adding activities in close proximity to the source of raw materials,
    • Beneficiation at source be facilitated,
    • Cooperate and provide mutual technical support in the areas of green economy, skills development and industrial financing,
    • Encourage companies from both countries to explore cooperation opportunities in infrastructure construction projects such as roads, railways, ports, power generation, airports and housing

  • In addition to the above-mentioned issues, the following areas were identified for future cooperation in the CSP:
  • Science and Technology,
  • Agriculture/Agro processing/Forestry,
  • Water,
  • Vocational Training / Training
  • Tourism Development,
  • Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development
  • Both countries also agreed to cooperate on G20, Climate Change, reform of UN Security Council, and South-South Cooperation.
  • The President addressed two Business Seminars, in Beijing and Shanghai respectively. Sixteen (16) business contracts were signed between SA and Chinese companies. A loan Agreement was signed between Cell C and China Development Bank totalling US$303.6 as well as the Discovery, buying 20% of Ping An Health Insurance Co.
  • Within FOCAC, China has agreed to assist with the inter-regional road and rail North-South Corridor. The North-South Corridor will not only benefit South Africa but the SADC countries as well.
  • The following Agreements/ MOUs were signed during the Visit:
  • Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership;
  • MOU on the Waiver of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic Passports,
  • MOU on the Establishment of the China- South Africa Minerals Cooperation Sectoral Committee,
  • MOU on the Establishment of the China-South Africa Sectoral Committee on Energy Matters ( ONLY INITIALED),
  • MOU on Cooperation in Railway Related Matters,
  • MOU on Cooperation in Transport Related Matters,
  • MOU on Energy Cooperation, and
  • MOU in the Field of Environmental Management
  • In Shanghai, the President viewed the SA Pavilion which has attracted more than 2,5 million people so far. Participation at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo is indeed a success and has contributed significantly to increase the positive image of SA in China and globally.
  • Lastly, it was agreed to hold the Bi-National Commission every two years at the Deputy Presidential level as well as annual Ministerial consultations. The respective Presidents will meet at bilateral and multilateral level when the opportunity arises.

Wayforward

Deputy President Montlante is to host the 4th BNC towards the end of November 2010. Vice President Xi Jinping is expected to attend. This BNC should be viewed as an implementing the decisions agreed to during the State Visit and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. During the BNC, Joint Action Plans would be developed to implement the CSP.

It is expected that the BNC Sectoral Groups be expanded to include Minerals and Energy groups.

For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at molobisk@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
Soutpansberg Road
RIETONDALE
Pretoria, RSA
0002

2 September 2010

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