Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa today co-chaired the 6th Bi-National Commission with the Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr LI Yuanchao at Tuynhuis in Cape Town.
The Commission received and deliberated on reports of the Sectoral Committees on foreign relations, trade and investment, science and technology, mining, energy and education. They also reviewed the progress made with regard to the South Africa-China relations over the past three years and identified the way forward for the continuously expanding bilateral relations.
Both countries noted the importance of President Zuma’s successful State Visit to China in 2014 which resulted in the adoption of the “Five-to-Ten Year Strategic Programme for Cooperation” with the aim to further deepen South Africa-China’s collaboration within the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
The Programme highlighted the important areas of cooperation, which included areas such as the acceleration of South Africa’s industrialisation process; Special Economic Zones (SEZs); marine cooperation; infrastructure development; human resource cooperation; and financial cooperation.
Both sides acknowledged the historically important State Visit of President Xi Jinping to South Africa in December 2015. The important agreements signed during this State Visit and the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) are being implemented in a comprehensive manner.
The FOCAC Summit reinforced China’s commitment to the entire African continent in addressing our developmental needs. In particular, South Africa has identified crucial projects that will change the lives of many South Africans. The two countries will maintain the sound momentum of high-level exchanges and continue to support and coordinate with each other on issues of strategic interests and challenges for both China and South Africa.
As the co-chair of the FOCAC, the two countries will, together, enhance the FOCAC mechanism which will positively impact on the lives of all South Africans. Both countries agreed that the sharing of cultural activities, including exchanges and knowledge-sharing with their counterparts elsewhere in the world, is an important aspect of our relations.
The two countries have initiated the South Africa-China High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism, which will lead to the further strengthening of a mutual understanding between the peoples of South Africa and China and create opportunities that would otherwise not have existed. This includes areas of core focus of the BNC such as education; science and technology; energy; etc.
The BNC has become the key vehicle for facilitating cooperation between South Africa and China and is thus the umbrella of all other bilateral mechanisms. The BNC provided the opportunity to assess where there is a need to further expand the areas of cooperation with regard to the Sectoral Committees i.e. Ocean’s Economy and Agriculture.
The two countries will maintain close communication on major issues including global economic and financial governance, climate change, cyber security, counter-terrorism and counter-transnational organized crimes as well as human rights. China and South Africa will support each other in hosting the BRICS Summit in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The BNC witnessed the signing of the following Agreements:
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Commerce regarding Co-Operation on Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks.
- Framework Agreement between the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China and the Department of Trade and Industry of Republic of South Africa for Developing Cooperation on Production Capacity.