Toast Remarks by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa at the State Banquet held in honour of President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria, 24 July 2018
Your Excellency President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your Excellency, I am privileged to have had the opportunity of extended bilateral talks with you on the eve of the 10th BRICS Summit.
Your visit to South Africa and Africa represents the essence of a partnership that is domestic, regional, continental and international in content.
Our relationship predates the official establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries on 1 January 1998.
We recall with great affection and gratitude the support and solidarity we received during our struggle for liberation.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a meeting of minds in almost every aspect of our relationship, whether party-to-party, government-to-government or people-to-people.
Along the road we have travelled, there are many milestones that have given structure and direction to our relationship, in particular the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which we deeply value.
Our resolve today to accelerate the implementation of the agreements we have reached points towards the future trajectory of our relations, an action-oriented approach.
We have undertaken to use whatever opportunities possible to expand trade and investment opportunities.
We are therefore looking to China’s International Import Expo in Shanghai and South Africa’s Investment Conference later this year.
We also celebrated our cooperation in science, technology and innovation today and I am heartened by the depth of the cooperation in cutting edge projects geared towards the realisation of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Your Excellency, the frequent high level visits by you and Chinese leaders to South Africa and the Continent is highly appreciated.
They underscore the deep commitment of the People's Republic of China to the bonds of friendship and collaborative cooperation with our Continent and its people.
I would like to use this opportunity to encourage Chinese visitors to our shores and look forward to closer cooperation in the tourism industry.
Your Excellency, I would also like to express our gratitude to you and the Chinese Government for your devout support of South Africa’s industrialisation programme and our skills development strategies.
We were extremely pleased with the outcomes of our deliberations and I firmly believe that the bilateral relationship between South Africa and China has never been a stronger footing than now.
I would like to invite Your Excellency to consider South Africa as your home away from home, as we always feel at home whenever we have an occasion to visit China.
Once more, Your Excellency, thank you for accepting my invitation.
Your Excellency, distinguished guests,
In this spirit, I have the pleasure to request you to rise and join me in a toast to the good health and prosperity of His Excellency, President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan, to friendship, trust, peace and prosperity between the peoples of the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
Union Buildings, Pretoria