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China, South Africa to strengthen cooperation on every front: South African Ambassador

(People's Daily Online)    14:59, January 19, 2018

The bilateral relations and cooperation between China and South Africa have seen great progress since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1998, and are expected to blossom at all levels in the future, said Dolana Msimang, South African ambassador to China.

The remarks were made on Thursday during a commemoration held in Beijing, which marked the milestone year of the diplomatic relations established between the two nations on January 1, 1998.

“Our relations have since continued to grow from strength-to-strength, blossoming at all levels from trade and investment to education, science and research, as well as close political ties,” Msimang told People’s Daily Online.

[File photo]

“Such solid ties not only provide a platform for continuing diplomatic engagement with one of our most important trade partners, but are also the key to broader engagement between our two countries, strengthening relations on every front,” she added.

In addition to the 20th anniversary of the two nations’ diplomatic ties, Msimang emphasized that the year of 2018 also marks the centennial anniversary of the life and legacy of the “father of modern South Africa,” Nelson Mandela, as well as the 40th anniversary of China’s opening-up policy.

Dolana Msimang, South African ambassador to China. [People's Daily Online]

“During a difficult period, [the authorities’] have to take a tough stance to ensure things run smoothly in the country first, and once the country becomes more established, it is time to open up more. This is what we’ve learned from the opening-up policy, and I believe it is very important for South Africa,” said Msimang.

“The outcome of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proves the success of the opening up policy, and is very educating for both South Africa and the whole world. China is sort of becoming a world leader now, so all of us hold positive attitudes toward the two nations’ future relationship,” she added.

The cooperation between China and African countries eyed a skyrocketing growth in 2017. According to statistics from the South African Embassy in Beijing, bilateral trade between South Africa and China has grown exponentially from only ZAR 1.8 billion in 1994 to ZAR 299 billion in 2016, and China has been South Africa’s largest single country trading partner since 2009. Two-way investment increased astronomically from ZAR 245 million in 2003 to ZAR 66 billion in 2014.

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(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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