China’s Xi Jinping heads to South Africa

President of the Peoples Republic of China, Xi Jinping, at the Tuynhuys in Cape Town, South Africa on 16 November 2010. (Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24/Denzil Maregele)

Xi Jinping’s visit comes ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th Brics Summit in which Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA will participate.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday receive President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, who is expected to be on a state visit to South Africa, the Presidency has announced.

“The State Visit takes place within the context of strengthening strategic and historic political, economic, social and international cooperation partnership between South Africa and China,” said the statement from the Presidency.

The two leaders would engage in bilateral talks and evaluate the progress achieved by the two countries on the Strategic Programme with specific reference to the six priority areas identified in 2015.

They include the alignment of industries to accelerate South Africa’s industrialisation process, enhancement of cooperation in special economic zones, enhancement of marine cooperation, infrastructure development, human resources cooperation, as well as financial cooperation.

Xi and Ramaphosa would meet ahead of South Africa’s hosting of the 10th Brics Summit in which Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would participate.

“South Africa’s relations with China are at the level of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The Beijing Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership encapsulates all facets of South Africa’s relations with China, where China has committed to the respective developmental objectives,” said the Presidency.

Total trade between South Africa and China experienced an upward trajectory since 2009, growing from R118 billion to R271 billion by the end of 2013. While there is a trade imbalance between China and South Africa, both countries have implemented various mechanisms to address these discrepancies.

These mechanisms include; the Inter-Ministerial Joint Working Group, RSA-PRC Bi-National Commission, Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation and the Strategic Dialogue.

The Presidency said both parties have since agreed to state visits, following re-election of Xi as leader of the People’s Republic of China and Ramaphosa’s election to the position of SA president in February 2018.

Ramaphosa is expected to pay a state visit to China ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, which he will co-chair with Xi, in Beijing later this year.

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