PRETORIA, July 24 – President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that South Africa and China will continue supporting each other in multilateral fora, including the United Nations, as the two countries develop their bilateral relationship, saying that they must work as partners to improve the lives of their peoples.
Ramaphosa was hosting the president of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, who began his state visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria ahead of the BRICS meet on Wednesday.
“The purpose of our meeting has been to review and strengthen our long lasting friendship, which has its roots in the bonds of solidarity that developed between our peoples during our struggle for liberation,” Ramaphosa said.
“President Xi and I noted that relations between South Africa and China have developed and expanded considerably since diplomatic relations were established in 1998, just four years after the first democratic elections in South Africa.”
This as the SA government signed several agreements, including memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on investments, which China committed to investing R14.7 billion in South Africa.
Xi also called for strengthen collaboration and strategic coordination in organisations such as the United Nations, the G20, and BRICS, in a bid to promote the reform of the global governance system in a joint effort to advance the fundamental interests of African and other developing countries.
“We must increase communication to add new impetus to our people-to-people exchanges. This will bring greater public support for China-South Africa friendship, and make peoples be more closely connected,” Xi said.
He said China was looking forward to working with South Africa to build on the momentum of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties and strive for faster and greater progress in their comprehensive strategic partnership.
The 10th BRICS Summit begins in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday and ends on Friday.
– African News Agency (ANA)