SA and China strengthen ties

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pretoria - International Relations and Cooperation Minister has expressed the need to elevate the strategic partnership between South Africa and People's Republic of China through the conclusion of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement (CSPA).

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who rounded off her Beijing leg of her ministerial trip to China on Friday, said she hoped that the CSPA will endeavour to make sense of how the bilateral relations between South Africa and China impact on the five key priorities that the government has identified.

The CSPA, to be signed by President Jacob Zuma and President Hu Jintao during the former's state visit to China probably before the end of June 2010, will strengthen and deepen both political and economic relations between the two countries.

"It will be a culmination of the relationship between the two countries, which started when the People's Republic of China supported the ANC during its anti-apartheid struggle.

"Formal diplomatic ties were strengthened in 2004, when the two countries decided to sign a Strategic Partnership - which eventually became materialised in 2006," said Nkoana-Mashabane.

Nkoana-Mashabane emphasised that China was not only the steadfast support of the anti-apartheid struggle, but it became South Africa's major development partner after its freedom was gained.

"We can say with pride that we have made good of our strategic partnership with China in terms of development of cultural and economic relations and even in the area of people to people contact," said Nkoana-Mashabane.