President Zuma lauds China visit

DECEMBER 8, 2014

President Jacob Zuma has described his state visit to China as a tremendous and fruitful success. 

President Zuma held official talks with his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping during the two day visit in Beijing earlier this week.

"The visit has significantly strengthened our relations with China who are ready to work with South Africa to effectively implement all the plans and agreements that we have signed, particularly  the 5 to 10 Year Framework on Cooperation which aims to further enhance the implementation of the outcomes of the Bi-National Commission and the Inter-ministerial Joint Working Group established recently" President Zuma said in statement issued by the Presidency.

"During the visit we have signed several agreements that will deepen our relations and President Xi Jinping and his government declared that China was ready to invest and work with South Africa in various sectors such as infrastructure development, ocean and green economies, science and technology, agriculture, environment, finance and other important sectors to ensure that we achieve the objectives of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” the President said. 

He expressed his gratitude to the Government of China for the role it played in supporting Africa to combat the Ebola crisis through the provision of more than R1 billion aid  to fight the epidemic.

"This means that China shares our view that Ebola is not an African problem but a global challenge that requires a serious response by the world at large,” the President said.

He further encouraged the business sector to work together in realising the goals of the comprehensive strategic partnership framework.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome the government to government as well as private sector agreements entered into during this visit. The conclusion of these agreements is directly linked to our collective objectives, as laid out in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which guides our bilateral engagements. The private sector agreements reflect progress in the drive to deliver on our mandate to eradicate unemployment and reduce poverty and inequality in South Africa."

China has also declared its readiness to work with African countries to invest in sustainable infrastructure programmes such as roads, railways and other strategic economic programmes which will create a conducive trade environment in the region.

During the official talks, President Zuma and President Xi Jinping also discussed matters relating to peace and security in Africa and other regions.

"President Xi Jinping declared that China was prepared to assist the African Union in its peacekeeping missions and was ready to discharge resources to the continent's peacekeeping mechanisms particularly the African rapid response forces."

The BRICS new Development Bank was also discussed during the official talks, and both parties agreed on the establishment and operationalisation of the bank as soon as possible.

"South Africa is keen to ensure that the Bank's African Regional Centre provides further impetus to the strategic relationship that was forged between the BRICS and African leadership in 2013 in Durban, to enhance economic development for the continent.

"We will cooperate with China to ensure that the Shanghai Headquarters and the African Regional Centre in South Africa are established as per agreed timelines. We have prioritised the ratification of the agreement establishing the Bank. South Africa has also instituted committees to make the African Regional Centre operational," President Zuma said. 

The President said measures to promote industrialisation and regional integration included the relaxation of customs and tax regulations that will assist with expediting and facilitating the movement of goods and services within the region. -SAnews.gov.za

 

Photo Caption: South African President, Jacob Zuma with Chinese President, XI Jinping. Photo courtesy of www.timeslive.co.za