SA, China to strengthen relations

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pretoria - Relations between South Africa and China are set to be taken to a higher level when the two hold the South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue Forum later today.

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim will co-chair the forum with his counterpart from the Asian country, Assistant Minister Zhai Jun in Pretoria.

The South Africa-China Strategic Dialogue Forum is an annual consultation and takes place against the backdrop of solid bilateral and trade relations between the two countries, says the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

According to the department, this year's session of the forum will examine ways to further build on this solid foundation by reviewing bilateral relations, African issues and China's policy towards Africa.

"The Strategic Dialogue Forum offers the two countries an opportunity to discuss bilateral economic and political co-operations and multilateral matters," said the department.

It further will allow for the two countries to discuss the status of structured bilateral engagements, such as the SA-China Bi-National Commission as well as forthcoming Ministerial and Presidential visits."

The South African-China Strategic Dialogue Forum was launched on 07 January 2008.

South Africa is China's key trading partner in Africa, accounting for 20.8 percent of the total volume of China-Africa trade in 2007.