President travels to China

Friday, August 31, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Friday travel to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for a State Visit to be hosted in Beijing by President Xi Jinping. 

“The Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China enjoy strong ties, cemented by the recent State Visit in Pretoria. Bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and South Africa are conducted through the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and are anchored in a shared history of friendship and solidarity,” the Presidency said in a statement.

The Presidency said the invitation for a State Visit extended by President Xi Jinping is a reciprocal gesture after President Ramaphosa hosted President Xi on a State Visit on 24 July 2018, ahead of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg.

According to the Presidency, the State Visit will on Sunday commence with President Ramaphosa laying a wreath at the Monument of the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square, in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Chinese people’s wars for liberation, independence and freedom.

“President Ramaphosa will thereafter meet with Premier Li Keqiang at the Diaoyutai State Guest House before attending the welcome ceremony hosted by President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People,” the Presidency said.

The President will from 3 to 4 September co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) under the theme: “China and Africa: Towards and even stronger community with a shared future through win-win cooperation”.

FOCAC, established in 2000, is a multilateral platform for exchange and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and African countries that have formal diplomatic relationships with the PRC.

“The Forum covers various aspects of politics, trade and culture and primarily aims to align and strengthen socio-economic and developmental cooperation.

"South Africa, as outgoing co-chair, will concentrate its efforts on ensuring a greater role for the African Union Commission in FOCAC, as well as on maintaining close relations with the regional economic communities and the AU’s flagship programme for socio-economic development, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD),” the Presidency said.

During FOCAC, President Ramaphosa will address the opening ceremony of the High-Level Dialogue between the Chinese and African Leaders with business representatives, as well as the 6th Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs.

He will also address the opening ceremony, the welcome banquet of the Summit and the first round table session.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor of Higher Education and Training, Rob Davies of Trade and Industry, Pravin Gordhan of Public Enterprises, Edna Molewa of Environmental Affairs, Gugile Nkwinti of Water and Sanitation, Blade Nzimande of Transport, Derek Hanekom of Tourism, Nhlanhla Nene of Finance and Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. –