South Africa and the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday reaffirmed political support for each country’s core interests during Xi Jinping’s State Visit at the Union Buildings in Tshwane, where he was hosted by his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.
Delivering his remarks during a media briefing, Ramaphosa said South Africa was honoured to receive President Xi on his fourth State Visit to South Africa ahead of the 15th BRICS Summit.
President Xi’s visit coincides with 25 years of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, while historic ties date back to the Bandung conference of 1955.
“During this State Visit, South Africa and China have reaffirmed political support for each other’s core interests.
“We also agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure development, energy, tourism, education and training, and digital technologies.
“President Xi and I look forward to the upcoming BRICS Summit and have agreed that BRICS must play an expanded role in global affairs,” said Ramaphosa.
He highlighted that China is South Africa’s largest trading partner and South Africa is China’s biggest trading partner in Africa.
The two leaders discussed the need to narrow the trade deficit between South Africa and China, and that one of the ways to do this is by ensuring greater market access for value-added South African export goods into the Chinese market.
Furthermore, the two leaders agreed to consult closely on issues of common purpose including in the context of BRICS, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the G77 plus China, and the G20.
“We have discussed areas of synergy in line with the call by South Africa and other African countries for the reform of institutions of global governance, notably the United Nations Security Council.
“We agree that the interests of the Global South must be fairly represented on all multilateral fora,” Ramaphosa stressed.