South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday welcomed Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping of China, as he opened a two-day official visit in Cape Town.
Ramaphosa said the re-election of President Xi presented an opportunity for South Africa to deepen its strategic cooperation with China at a personal, bilateral, regional and global level. He affirmed the importance of relationships among BRICS nations and said he looks forward to Xi’s trip to South Africa in July when the country hosts the 10th BRICS Summit, also welcoming Russia, Brazil and India.
On trade, Ramaphosa emphasized the need to increase African exports to China as part of South Africa’s economic recovery plan. He also welcomed Chinese participation in the upcoming Jobs Summit and Investment Summit, an invitation that comes as Beijing is under increased scrutiny of its role on the African continent and in global trade tensions involving the United States.
Yang was expected to meet with other leaders of South African political parties and government to discuss the July summit in Johannesburg, as well as the 2018 Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Beijing.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. “Over the past 20 years, with the concerted efforts of both sides, the bilateral relationship has developed in an in-depth manner and been elevated from partnership to strategic partnership and then comprehensive strategic partnership.”
Image: Presidency SA